DA to Seek Hearing into Qualifications of Kanarek
Thursday, July 2nd, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jul. 2 – Dist. Atty. Evelle J. Younger today had announced unprecedented plans to petition the State Supreme Court to order a hearing into the qualifications of Charles Manson’s attorney.
Younger said he was making the move because he believed Manson and his three codefendants, if convicted of murder, would challenge the competency of their attorneys in making their appeals.
The District Attorney aimed his attack at Atty. Irving A. Kanarek, who has been called “incompetent” and “an obstructionist” by Younger’s men at Manson’s trial.
Coprosecutors Aaron H. Stovitz and Vincent T. Bugliosi failed in their attempt to have Superior Court Judge Charles H. Older dismiss Kanarek.
Judge Older, who is presiding at Manson’s trial, refused to oust Kanarek because he felt he did not have the power to do so.
Younger, at a news conference at his Hall of Justice office, admitted his petition to the state’s highest court was “groping” and said he was “trying things that have never been tried before.”
The District Attorney said he was asking the State Supreme Court to tell Judge Older he could rule.
Younger shied away from making any specific accusations against Kanarek, saying that if a hearing is ordered, witnesses — including eight judges — would testify concerning Kanarek’s “pattern of conduct.”
The decision to go to the state’s highest court, said Younger, came after Judge Older last Friday reportedly refused a hearing on a renewed prosecution motion against Kanarek. The decision was made in the Judge’s chambers.
Younger denied his news conference violated any of the Judge’s orders against public dissemination of what happens in private in his chambers.
The District Attorney also revealed that within the past two years, his office has gone to the State Bar Association challenging Kanarek’s competency.
That route proved unsuccessful, said Younger.
Kanarek, who has been an attorney since 1957, claimed the District Attorney was attempting to use Manson’s “cadaver” to further his own political aims.
Younger is the Republican nominee for state attorney general. Kanarek said he “also has reason to believe he (Younger) wants to be governor of California.”
“The District Attorney chooses to use the press, radio and television for his selfish political purposes,” Kanarek said.
Paul J. Fitzgerald, defense attorney for codefendant Patricia Krenwinkel, pointed out that Younger was “an adversary” in the current proceedings against Manson.
Fitzgerald said if Younger were “genuinely concerned” with Manson’s welfare, he would take the matter up with an impartial body such as the State Bar Association.
In other developments, it was learned Ira K. Reiner, the attorney for codefendant Leslie van Houten, had filed a declaration with Judge Older in an attempt to institute contempt proceedings against Younger.
Reiner said he could not comment on the substance of the declaration by order of the court. It was believed, however, that the defense attorney has claimed Younger violated the gag order on pretrial publicity by allowing publication of a so-called confession by codefendant Susan Atkins last December.
By SANDI METTETAL