Katherine Kealoha claims government shutdown is impinging on ‘rights to a fair trial’

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Katherine Kealoha is asking the court to delay her trial, claiming the government shutdown is impacting her defense team’s ability to do its job.

In a written declaration, Kealoha’s attorney, Cynthia Kagiwada writes: “I spoke to Kristine Fox, CJA Circuit Case Managing Attorney for the United States Court of Appeals. Ms. Fox confirmed that no one will be compensated under the Criminal Justice Act until the shutdown ends. This lack of funding includes attorney’s fees, paralegal hours, investigator hours, and other defense team hours.”

Kagiwada says without proper funding, the team is having difficulty preparing for the case.

“At least one vendor has definitely stated that his company cannot provide work, with no assurances as to when payment will be made,” wrote Kagiwada. 

The court appointed Kagiwada to defend Mrs. Kealoha after she and her husband, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, claimed they could no longer afford to pay for private attorneys. 

Kealoha is asking the court to push back the trial, which is slated to begin on March 18.

The court has yet to make a ruling. 

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