The lawyers and agents planning to go to Brussels are particularly interested in the purchase and transportation of P2P from Europe to the United States.
Michael L. Levy, a special attorney with the Philadelphia Strike Force, said the government has to go to Brussels because the witnesses refused to come to the United States.
"Unfortunately most Europeans' impressions of the United States come from 'Miami Vice' and 'Hill Street Blues,' and they don't want any part of it," Levy said, explaining that the U.S. government cannot force them to appear at trial here, scheduled for Nov. 30.
Levy said he has no idea what the trip will cost. "It's going to be a lot of money, just the airfare alone . . . ," he said.
The witnesses - including two taxi drivers, a translator, a warehouse owner and a hotel porter - are expected to provide testimony beginning Nov. 2 regarding defendants Peter Mueller, Vincent Bartels, Joseph Kelly, Edmond Gifford, Angelo DiTullio and Henry Benoff, who is dead but is named as a co- conspirator in the indictment.
Levy's partner in the case, Barry Gross, will be going with the DEA agents a week earlier to prepare for the depositions.
Levy said the government offered to allow the defendants to go too, but they declined, preferring instead to send their lawyers.
In addition to Gross, the following lawyers are expected to go: Joseph Caruso for Kelly; Thomas Moribondo for Gifford; F. Emmett Fitzpatrick for DiTullio; Gilbert J. Scutti for defendant John Romolini; and Dorothy Langton for defendants Michael Borelli and Anthony Renzulli.
Lawyer Robert F. Simone, who represents Scarfo, said he wasn't going to Brussels because the drug importation part of the case has little to do with his client.
"As much as I'd like to go to Europe, I really don't feel like going and spending all that time taking depositions," Simone said.
Scarfo is charged with taking over three Philadelphia organizations that manufactured and distributed methamphetamine.
Levy said the lawyers and defendants who choose not to go to Belgium will have an opportunity to hear the testimony through a telephone hookup in the U.S. marshal's office here.
One telephone line will be open, Levy said, giving lawyers in Philadelphia a chance to ask questions of the witnesses. Another line will be private so the lawyers attending the depositions in Brussels can talk with their clients in Philadelphia.
U.S. District Judge Thomas N. O'Neill Jr. on Friday appointed Edmund L.
Palmieri, a senior federal judge from New York, to preside over the depositions.
Palmieri, who is fluent in several languages, will be accompanied by his stenographer, who is fluent in French and Italian, Levy said.