Trial of US mobster, 83, set to begin

James Bulger is accused of playing a part in 19 murders. Picture: AP

James Bulger is accused of playing a part in 19 murders. Picture: AP

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The long-awaited murder trial of reputed Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger is set to begin this week.

The 83-year-old Bulger was once a feared man accused of running the violent Winter Hill Gang. Prosecutors say he played a role in 19 murders over two decades and they plan to have his former cohorts testify against him. Bulger remained a fugitive for more than 16 years before finally being captured in Santa Monica, California, in 2011.

The infamous US gangsters on the witness list include Bulger’s former partner, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, hit man John Martorano and former Bulger lieutenant Kevin Weeks.

Bulger’s lawyers have made it clear that they will attack the credibility of men they describe as “once-reviled criminal defendants”. Jury selection begins tomorrow and the trial could last four months.

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