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Whitey Bulger Back in Court for Ruling on His Defense

FBIUPDATE: The decision on whether taxpayers should pay for Whitey Bulger's defense was postponed Tuesday. Prosecutors dismissed one of the two indictments against Bulger so they can focus on what they believe is the stronger indictment that could put Bulger away for life.

(BOSTON) -- James "Whitey" Bulger, a suspected organized crime boss charged in connection with 19 murders, returns to a Boston courtroom Tuesday where a judge is expected to rule whether taxpayers have to pay for his defense.

Bulger, 81, asked for court-appointed counsel -- something prosecutors reject -- pointing out that he "financed a relatively comfortable lifestyle for himself and his [60-year-old] girlfriend," Catherine Greig, in Santa Monica, California in the years before his arrest.

Court records say Bulger bragged to the FBI that he visited Las Vegas "on numerous occasions" to play the slots, claiming he won more than he lost.  Associates have also said that Bulger has been hiding money for years.

Regardless of whether any of this is true, prosecutors argue that it doesn't matter.  They say Bulger has "every incentive to lie and stick taxpayers with the bill for his defense."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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