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Former Westchester DA Pirro Is Called To Testify In Hearing For Durst

Jeanine Pirro, the former district attorney of Westchester County, has been called to testify in the preliminary hearing of Robert Durst.
Jeanine Pirro, the former district attorney of Westchester County, has been called to testify in the preliminary hearing of Robert Durst. Photo Credit: File photo

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Lawyers for Robert Durst have subpoenaed Jeanine Pirro, the former district attorney of Westchester County, to testify at his preliminary hearing in New Orleans.

Durst, 71, was arrested on March 14 in connection with the murder of Susan Berman, a Los Angeles author and Durst's friend, 15 years ago. Durst is a former Scarsdale resident who also lived in South Salem.

Durst's preliminary hearing has been continued until next week.

In the subpoena to Pirro, the lawyers cited an investigative report by Andrew Gumbel published Sunday in the U.S. edition of the British newspaper The Guardian.

The legal team led by Dick DeGuerin says it wants to ask Pirro under oath whether she made plans to send an investigator to California to question Susan Berman shortly before Berman's murder in December 2000, as she has claimed in media interviews for years and repeated in Episode 3 of the HBO documentary series "The Jinx."

Sources have told Gumbel that despite her public declarations, Pirro made no such plans and was on the verge of dropping her year-long efforts to charge Durst with the murder of his first wife, Kathie, who disappeared from the couple's South Salem home in 1982. According to these  sources, it was only after Berman's murder that Pirro's interest in the case revived. Pirro did not respond to Gumbel.

The Guardian story also revealed that in 2004, after Durst was acquitted by a jury in Galveston, Texas of murdering his neighbor Morris Black, Pirro's office was considering calling a grand jury and forcing everyone in the Durst family to testify under oath to their knowledge of Kathie Durst's disappearance and Robert Durst's possible involvement in it.

The grand jury idea, and the investigation itself, were  quickly shelved after a one-on-one meeting between Pirro and Robert Durst's brother, Douglas, the head of the family real estate empire, the Guardian article said.

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