Travolta Bids For U.s. Trial
John Travolta is hoping to transfer his extortion case to the U.S., after a judge in the Bahamas ordered a retrial.
Former Bahamas senator Pleasant Bridgewater and paramedic Tarino Lightbourne were facing charges of conspiracy to extort $25 million (£17.2 million) from the actor and his wife Kelly Preston after their 16-year-old son Jett suffered a fatal seizure at the family's holiday home there in January (09).
The accused allegedly threatened to release a Refusal of Treatment/Transportation form, which Travolta signed after requesting paramedics drive his son to the airport. He initially believed it would be faster to fly the 16 year old to a hospital in Florida for treatment, but subsequently changed his mind.
Senior Justice Anita Allen declared a mistrial on Wednesday (21Oct09), after a Bahamian politician revealed Bridgewater had been cleared, before a verdict was announced.
Now Travolta, who testified during the hearings, will have to take to the stand again as the case goes back to court. And his lawyer, Michael Ossi, is working to get the criminal charges heard in Jacksonville, Florida, reports the New York Post.
Ossi explains, "I have asked the Bahamian authorities to preserve all the evidence for the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) to review, and I have written to the federal government and the Bahamian government about trying the case in Florida. The original call was made from the Bahamas to Florida, so there is jurisdiction for a trial in the U.S."
Ossi, insists despite Travolta's grief, his client will fully cooperate with future proceedings and will testify again if necessary.
He adds, "The family would like to privately begin their long healing process without the prospect of more litigation over their heads. But we have no choice."