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Final witnesses testify in Kealoha conspiracy trial

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Katherine and Louis Kealoha walk toward the federal courthouse building after lunch on Tuesday.

The final three witnesses testified today in the conspiracy trial of Louis and Katherine Kealoha and three co-defendants, ending 16 days of testimony from nearly 80 people.

Attorneys for the federal government and the defense are scheduled to give closing arguments Tuesday in what is considered one of the largest public corruption cases in Hawaii history.

The jury of seven men and five women will then begin deliberations to decide the fate of the five defendants, including Honolulu Police Department Lt. Derek Wayne Hahn, officer Minh-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen and retired Maj. Gordon Shiraishi.

The defendants are charged with conspiring to frame Katherine Kealoha’s uncle for the alleged theft of their Kahala mailbox in 2013 and lying about their actions to federal authorities.

Prosecutors say the defendants tried to frame Gerard Puana in an effort to discredit him over a 2013 lawsuit that he and his mother, Florence Puana, filed against Katherine Kealoha, alleging Kealoha stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from them.

The government on Friday called only three witnesses to rebut prior defense testimony.

The trial will resume Tuesday when U.S. District Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright, who has presided over the trial, will give instructions to the jury.

After that, the government gives its closing arguments, followed by attorneys for each of the five defendants. Prosecutors get time for final rebuttal remarks, then the case goes to the jury.

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