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Bulger Attorney Says Informant Should Be Exposed

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An attorney for reputed gangster James "Whitey" Bulger is arguing the government should reveal the name of a confidential informant the defense thinks could undermine two star prosecution witnesses.

During a pretrial hearing Wednesday, attorney Hank Brennan said providing the informant's name is critical to assessing the credibility of John Martorano and Kevin Weeks.

The defense claims the informant said Weeks and Martorano assured certain people they wouldn't implicate them to law enforcement. Brennan noted to U.S. District Judge Denise Casper that the government has previously allowed witnesses to implicate innocent people to protect friends, citing a 1965 gang murder in which four men were wrongly accused.

But prosecutors said they shouldn't be forced to expose an informant who was passing on "street talk."

Bulger is accused of participating in 19 murders. His trial begins next month.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.