Wednesday 17 January 2018

Director McTiernan given jail term

John McTiernan has been given a one-year prison term in the US
John McTiernan has been given a one-year prison term in the US

Die Hard director John McTiernan has been sentenced to one year in prison for lying about his association with a private investigator to illegally wiretap a movie producer.

In a stinging rebuke of the 59-year-old filmmaker, US district judge Dale Fischer said he should receive a harsher sentence than the year recommended by prosecutors because he didn't accept responsibility for his actions.

"The defendant doesn't think the law applies to him," Fischer said.

McTiernan, wearing a black suit with a blue shirt, had his hands in his pockets while the judge issued the sentence. He declined to comment outside of court.

McTiernan pleaded guilty in July to two counts of making false statements to the FBI. He also pleaded guilty to one count of perjury for lying to a federal judge while trying to withdraw a guilty plea.

Fischer also ordered McTiernan to pay a 100,000 dollar fine and serve three years probation. He will remain free on bond pending an appeal.

His attorneys said the conditional plea agreement allows their client to challenge certain pretrial rulings made by Fischer.

McTiernan previously pleaded guilty to lying to an FBI agent in 2006 about the investigation of private investigator Anthony Pellicano. The director later withdrew that plea.

"What we feel is that a grave injustice has been done to prosecute a man for simply speaking on the telephone to a government agent," said Oliver Diaz, one of McTiernan's lawyers.

Pellicano was convicted in 2008 of wiretapping film producer Charles Roven for McTiernan and of bugging the phones of celebrities and others to get information for clients. Roven worked with McTiernan on the 2002 box-office flop Rollerball.

Press Association

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