Burge Case Heads Back To Court

Burge's perjury trial begins May 24

By Adriana Correa
|  Monday, May 17, 2010  |  Updated 9:15 AM CDT
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John Burge walks out of federal court after jury selection in his perjury trial.

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The case against a former Chicago police official accused of lying about the alleged torture of suspects is due back in federal court.

Attorneys have a number of issues to hammer out before Burge's May 24 trial begins.

The court has also been bringing in prospective jurors to fill out a 29-page questionnaire.

A federal indictment alleges that Burge lied in a deposition claiming he hadn't participated in the "bagging" of a suspect -- covering his head with a typewriter cover until he couldn't breathe -- in January 1987.

Burge, fired by the Police Department in the early 1990s, has long been the focus of allegations by civil rights attorneys that he and his detectives used beatings, electric shocks and death threats against homicide suspects to obtain confessions decades ago.

The detective was charged in 2008 connection with his previous testimony that neither he nor homicide detectives under his command tortured any murder suspects 20-some years ago, the U.S. Attorney's office announced.

Two special prosecutors have found that police beat, kicked, shocked or otherwise tortured scores of prisoners to get confessions decades ago.

But they said the mistreatment happened so long ago that it could no longer be prosecuted. Burge has pleaded not guilty to a federal indictment charging that he lied when questioned about the alleged torture.

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