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People v. Prokop

OCTOBER 20, 1971.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

HENRY PROKOP, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. WILLIAM S. WHITE, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE ADESKO DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant, Henry Prokop, a suburban police officer, pleaded not guilty of a charge of perjury and waived a jury. He was found guilty on each count of the indictment and received a sentence of two years probation and a fine of $1,000. The chronology of events leading up to his conviction is as follows:

1. On April 13, 1964, Prokop arrested one of five defendants who were subsequently prosecuted for theft.

2. On June 2, 1964, Prokop testified in a motion to suppress evidence in Niles.

3. On August 1, 1964, Prokop was interviewed by an Assistant State's Attorney, in preparation to his testifying before the Cook County Grand Jury.

4. On August 14th and 18th, 1964, Prokop testified before the Cook County Grand Jury.

5. On or about the third week of April, 1965, Prokop was interviewed by an Assistant State's Attorney at the scene of the arrest of the five men charged with theft.

6. On May 3, 1965, said Assistant State's Attorney interviewed Prokop in his office and accused Prokop of lying. He showed Prokop transcripts of his previous testimony at the motion to suppress in Niles and at the Grand Jury proceedings and asked him questions in an attempt to refresh his memory.

7. On or about May 5, 1965, after Prokop had testified in a motion to suppress in the trial court, said Assistant State's Attorney spoke to Prokop in the jury room attached to Judge Dahl's courtroom. He had a transcript of Prokop's testimony before the Grand Jury.

8. On or about May 12, 1965, Prokop appeared in Judge Dahl's courtroom represented by counsel, the late John Coughlan, Esquire. Mr. Coughlan told the Assistant State's Attorney that if Prokop were put on the stand he would take the Fifth Amendment.

9. On petition by the State, Judge Dahl granted immunity to Prokop.

10. On advice of counsel, given in six or seven consultations, Prokop was told that if he did not remember he should state that he did not remember; that if he did remember he should so state; that he should utter the truth as best he could recall.

11. On May 18, 1965, Prokop was called as a court's witness in the trial of the five defendants accused of theft. He was cross-examined by the prosecutor who read verbatim excerpts from Prokop's testimony given at the motion to suppress in Niles on June 2, 1964, at a conference with an Assistant State's Attorney on August 1, 1964, and his testimony at the Grand Jury. When asked if he was asked those questions and gave those answers, he testified, "I don't remember."

12. On August 30, 1965, Prokop was indicted for perjury and charged with testifying falsely when he ...


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