A federal judge today ordered that Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes show up for a deposition in a $150 million wrongful prosecution suit against him — and the timing couldn’t be worse for the veteran lawman, coming just weeks before he faces a bitter reelection primary.
Jabbar Collins — who spent 15 years in prison for the murder of a rabbi before a judge set him free citing prosecutorial missteps — will face Hynes at the deposition the week of Aug. 19, less than three weeks before the Sept. 10 Democratic contest.
“I think it’s finally vindication to really confront him and have him answer under oath why he permitted the horrendous misconduct in my case to occur and why he failed to do anything about it,” Collins said as he smiled triumphantly outside the courtroom yesterday .
Magistrate Judge Robert Levy concluded that the deposition was “inevitable” for the case to proceed.
The judge’s ruling was a blow to city lawyer Arthur Larkin who’d argued that senior staffers in the Brooklyn DA’s office could be deposed instead of Hynes. Larkin indicated that he wouldn’t try to seal Hynes’ deposition although he expressed concern that it could embarrass the DA.
The judge also ordered that Hynes’ rackets bureau chief Michael Vechione be deposed on June 21.
Collins’ suit accuses Hynes of turning a blind eye to his investigators’ misconduct during the high-profile probe into the killing of Rabbi Abraham Pollack in Williamsburg during a 1995 armed robbery.
His lawsuit claims that two key prosecution witnesses in the murder case against him were coerced.
One was Angel Santos, who later told a federal judge that he had been threatened by Vecchione, after Santos balked at taking the witness stand at Collins’ trial.
The suit also claims that Hynes prosecutors routinely “imprisoned” potential witnesses in hotel rooms until they agreed to testify.
Hynes has denied the allegations.