USA: OJ Simpson seeking armed robbery retrial

O.J. Simpson in court in Las Vegas. Picture: AP
O.J. Simpson in court in Las Vegas. Picture: AP
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FORMER American footballer turned actor, OJ Simpson, took the witness stand in a Las Vegas court yesterday in a bid for a new trial in an armed robbery case that sent him to prison five years ago.

Simpson, 65, testified in the third day of a hearing into his claims that his defence lawyer mishandled the 2007 Nevada case.

He appeared from jail, where he is serving up to 33 years for the 2007 incident in which he and five other men stormed a hotel room and took thousands of dollars in memorabilia from a pair of sports collectors at gunpoint.

Defence lawyers argued Simpson was only trying to retrieve stolen possessions and was not aware that an accomplice had brought a gun along. He was found guilty on 12 charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping.

Simpson said he believed the items were exempt from a $33.5 million civil judgment against him from the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend.

Simpson’s current attorneys have asked a judge to throw out his 2008 conviction, saying trial lawyer, Yale Galanter, knew in advance Simpson planned to confront the dealers and failed to tell Simpson prosecutors had offered a plea deal to serve only two to five years.

Simpson was accused of the 1994 stabbing and slashing murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

He was acquitted in 1995 after a trial, which was televised.