Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Brothers Ordered to Come to Court Chilean Law Requires Liebermans' Presence

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Brothers Ordered to Come to Court Chilean Law Requires Liebermans' Presence

Article excerpt

Even when the news was muy bueno - very good - Harold and Alan Lieberman apparently didn't want to show up in court in Santiago, Chile, to learn that they wouldn't be shipped back to St. Louis to stand trial on federal fraud charges.

Their lawyer tried to handle the matter himself Friday, apparently so the brothers could avoid cameras and reporters.

The court decided otherwise. The brothers will have to appear in person Monday before the Chilean Supreme Court. That's when they will get the official notice that they will not be extradited to the United States to stand trial on federal fraud charges related to the collapse of their home-building business. Court rules require that the subjects of extradition requests appear before the court to hear the court's decision. Alan, 67, and Harold, 69, were charged in St. Louis on 37 counts of fraud, conspiracy and other crimes in the failure of their Lieberman Corp., which collapsed in January 1989 under more than $15 million in debts. Authorities said the collapse hurt banks, contractors and home buyers. On Thursday, the court in Santiago rejected the American request to extradite the brothers to the United States. The ruling ended four years of fugitive status for the Liebermans, who fled the United States just before they were indicted here in May 1992. Once formally notified of the court's ruling, the Liebermans will be freed from house arrest, which has kept them loosely tethered to their apartments in a fashionable part of Santiago. In final arguments in the extradition case on Tuesday, one of the Liebermans' lawyers told the court that the brothers had left the United States looking for work in the face of an economic downturn and were unaware that federal charges were to be filed against them. That brought a sharp response in St. Louis from Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael W. …

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