Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane held for trial

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The state's attorney general on Monday was ordered to trial on charges she leaked secret grand jury information to the press, lied under oath about it and ordered aides to illegally snoop through computer files to keep tabs on an investigation into it.

Kathleen Kane, the first woman and the first Democrat to be elected Pennsylvania attorney general, did not speak as she left a suburban Philadelphia courthouse flanked by bodyguards and a crush of reporters and photographers.

Defense lawyer Gerald Shargel lamented that the looser rules of evidence and lower burden of proof in preliminary hearings left them with low odds of getting some or all of the charges tossed.

Kane, 49, could face up to seven years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge, perjury. No trial date has been scheduled. Her next court appearance is Oct. 14.

Kane sat quietly at the defense table during the four-hour hearing Monday, occasionally flipping through documents and jotting notes.

Prosecutors called two witnesses - a top Kane aide and the lead investigator in the case against her - whose testimony paralleled a 42-page probable cause affidavit filed against her earlier this month.

Kane is accused of leaking a confidential grand jury memo and transcript to a Philadelphia Daily News reporter to embarrass rival prosecutors involved in the case. She then lied about her actions to a grand jury investigating the leak, prosecutors said.

Focusing on that charge, prosecutors contrasted remarks Kane made about the sanctity of grand jury proceedings as a county prosecutor in 1999 with her testimony to the leak grand jury last November.

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