Bujak riles opposing counsel, tries unsuccessfully to get judge to acquit him Former Canyon County Prosecutor John Bujak tried unsuccessfully Thursday to get the judge to reject the falsifying-evidence charges against him rather than having the jury decide.
Then he drew strong objections from his opposing counsel when he sought to elicit testimony that she said fell outside the agreed-upon parameters.
Ultimately, the judge granted Special Prosecutor Shelley Akamatsus request that testimony of Bujaks expert witness be postponed until Friday so Akamatsu can interview him at length.
Serving as his own attorney, Bujak sparked frustration from Akamatsu by planning to testimony she said fell beyond the carefully outlined, agreed-upon parameters of the case.
Akamatsu, a deputy Ada County prosecutor handling the case because of a conflict for Canyon prosecutors, accused Bujak of dishonesty and deliberately planning a last-minute change in course. Bujak said he wants his expert witness to respond only to issues raised by the state's expert witness, but Akamatsu said those issues were raised only because Bujak asked questions about them during cross-examination.
You cant say this just came out in testimony. Youre the one that caused it to come out in testimony, Akamatsu told Bujak with the jury out of the courtroom. She said the former prosecutor was trying to circumvent the rules and put me at a disadvantage.
"Its not true, these things he says so convincingly. Its so frustrating, Akamatsu told 3rd District Judge Molly Huskey. He absolutely did this on purpose.
Bujak didn't object to delaying the testimony for Akamatsu to meet with his witness, but said there was no dark motive to his plans.
"I'm not trying to play hide the ball," he said.
When Akamatsu completed the prosecution case Thursday afternoon, Bujak opted not to offer an opening argument but said he plans to call one witness, a computer expert, and may opt to testify in his own behalf.
Also Thursday afternoon, Bujak asked Judge Huskey to acquit him on the charges rather than have it go to the jury. The judge declined, disagreeing with Bujak's assessment that the evidence was insufficient for a jury to convict him.
Bujak is charged with creating a document last spring and anonymously sending it to the prosecutor in his misuse of public funds case with the intention of derailing that prosecution with false evidence. The initial case, charging Bujak with illegally taking $236,000 from a contract to handle Nampa misdemeanors, went to trial in November but ended in a hung jury. It is slated for retrial next month.