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Die Hard director John McTiernan given jail term

05 October 10 09:18
John McTiernan

Die Hard director John McTiernan has been sentenced to one year in prison for lying in a wiretapping case.

The 59-year-old pleaded guilty in July to making false statements to the FBI during investigations into celebrity private detective Anthony Pellicano.

Mr McTiernan hired Pellicano in 2002 to spy on a film producer after they both worked on the movie Rollerball.

Pellicano is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for racketeering, conspiracy and wiretapping.

Mr McTiernan, whose film credits include Predator, The Hunt for Red October and The Thomas Crown Affair, was ordered to pay a $100,000 (£63,000) fine and serve three years probation.

He will remain free on bond pending an appeal.

The film director initially pleaded guilty in 2006 to lying to the FBI about his involvement with Pellicano.

He later requested to withdraw the plea, arguing he did not have adequate legal representation and was jet-lagged and under the influence of alcohol when he was contacted by the federal agent late at night.

'Prosecutorial vindictiveness'

But a judge refused the request and sentenced him to four months in jail and a fine of $100,000 (£63,000). He was allowed to remain free while his lawyers prepared an appeal.

US District Judge Dale Fischer said she believed Mr McTiernan should receive a harsher sentence than the year recommended by prosecutors because he did not accept responsibility for his actions.

"The defendant doesn't think the law applies to him, and the court has no reason to believe he will not violate the law again when it suits him," she said.

Mr McTiernan's attorney Oliver Diaz said in a statement that the movie director was a victim of "prosecutorial vindictiveness" and planned to appeal against his conviction.

He claimed his client had not been read his rights when first speaking with the FBI, nor was told he was the subject of an investigation.

Pellicano was convicted of 78 crimes at two separate trials in 2008 for obtaining the private records of a number of Hollywood stars including Sylvester Stallone, Keith Carradine and Garry Shandling.

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