The Clarion-Ledger, 8/1/8

Attorney Paul Minor’s allegations he was the target of a politicized U.S. Justice Department that railroaded him into a bribery conviction are based on “wild speculation and innuendo,” federal prosecutors argue in court papers.

Minor, 62, built a national reputation and amassed a fortune by suing tobacco, asbestos and other companies. He was convicted in March 2007 of bribing two judges and sentenced to 11 years in prison. He is asking the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans for a new trial and accuses the government of selective prosecution of prominent Democrats.

Prosecutors said in papers filed this week Minor’s allegations are not a valid basis to overturn a conviction and he should remain behind bars during his appeal because his alcohol addiction makes him a danger to society.

“Interestingly enough, Minor’s primary contention before the district court was that he was being prosecuted while Richard ‘Dickie’ Scruggs, who Minor claimed had engaged in the same conduct, was not being prosecuted,” the prosecution’s motion said. “Now, like Minor, Scruggs has been convicted and sentenced for his bribery of a circuit judge.”