US & Canada

Lawyer denies OJ Simpson's claims of botched defence

Media captionEx-OJ Simpson: "He knew he had screwed up, he knew there were guns in the room"

OJ Simpson's former lawyer has rebutted claims by his former client he botched his defence in an armed robbery case.

Yale Galanter told a court that Simpson, 65, knew his associates had guns when they seized sports memorabilia at a Nevada hotel.

He also denied failing to tell the former star NFL running back-turned-actor about plea-bargain offers.

Mr Galanter testified on the last day of the five-day hearing at which Simpson has tried to win a retrial.

Simpson was famously acquitted of the murder of his former wife and her friend in Los Angeles in 1995.

But he was jailed for between nine and 33 years for his attempts in September 2007 to take back photos and footballs he believed had been stolen from him.

He was accompanied by five other men when he seized the goods from memorabilia dealers at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Simpson says he should be given a new trial because he argues that Mr Galanter failed to represent him effectively.

On Wednesday, he testified that he had only tried to reclaim what he believed were stolen goods. He alleged that Mr Galanter had told him to do so was legal as long as he did not use force.

He also alleged that Mr Galanter had told him not to testify during his 2008 trial and did not mention a plea deal that would have reduced his sentence.

But in Friday's testimony, Mr Galanter denied approving Simpson's decision to retrieve the memorabilia.

He also said that Simpson had confided in him that he had asked two men to bring guns to the hotel room.

"I don't think I could have fought harder, done more," Mr Galanter said of his handling of the case. "I put every ounce of blood, sweat and soul into it."

Image caption Simpson told a court Mr Galanter had failed to tell him about a plea deal

The lawyer said Simpson had agreed all along with the decision not to have him testify.

Mr Galanter also told the court he specifically mentioned a plea deal that would have seen Simpson in prison from two to five years.

"I went out in the hall and said to OJ, 'there is an offer of two to five.' He said, 'see if they will take a year,'" Mr Galanter said.

"I discussed a year with them, and they said no and the trial went on."

When the hearing concluded on Friday afternoon, the judge said she would issue her decision at an unspecified later date.

If the judge rules against Simpson, he will remain in prison for at least another five years.

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