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COMMONWEALTH v. YANNI ET AL. (09/15/66)

decided: September 15, 1966.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
YANNI ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeals from judgments of sentence of Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County, May T., 1963, Nos. 249 and 248, in cases of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Michael Yanni; and Same v. A. Joseph Hertweck.

COUNSEL

W. Donald Sparks, for appellant.

Martin Vinikoor, with him Vinikoor, Fein, Criden and Johanson, for appellant.

Stanley M. Shingles, Assistant District Attorney, with him Joseph M. Smith, Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Spaulding, JJ. Opinion by Ervin, P. J. Wright, J., would affirm the judgments below.

Author: Ervin

[ 208 Pa. Super. Page 192]

These two cases were tried together and the appeals raise the same questions. For this reason they may be disposed of in one opinion.*fn1

[ 208 Pa. Super. Page 193]

The charges of perjury against the two defendants arose out of the testimony given before a special grand jury in 1962, which was convened for the purpose of investigating alleged corrupt practices in the Philadelphia city administration. The defendants were summoned to testify as to their respective connections with an $8,000.00 zoning incident. Their testimony was extensive and the parts which the parties have considered relevant were made part of the record.

The investigating grand jury made no presentment recommending indictment of either of the defendants for any crime within the fields of its investigation, but it did make a presentment recommending the indictment of each of them for perjury, based upon their testimony before it. Accordingly, a regular indicting grand jury found an indictment that "the said A. Joseph Hertweck upon his oath aforesaid did wilfully, corruptly and falsely swear and testify in certain answers to questions asked of him in substance as follows: That he had never at any time associated with one Michael Yanni in any business matter; and that he had never at any time associated with Michael Yanni in and about premises Suite 1471 Suburban Station Building, Philadelphia; and that he had never at any time associated with the said Michael Yanni in a business named and called Federated Mortgagee Corporation."*fn2

The cases were tried together without a jury before Reimel, J., who adjudged both defendants guilty as charged. Motions for arrest of judgment or for new trial were dismissed and each defendant was sentenced to serve not less than six months nor more than twenty-three months in the Philadelphia County Prison.

The elements of the crime of perjury were set forth in Com. v. Billingsley, 160 Pa. ...


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