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Jurors see tape of Kozlowski's party
Prosecutors say half of $2M for the birthday party on Sardinia came from Tyco.
October 29, 2003: 6:37 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN) - A tape of the $2 million birthday bash former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski threw for his wife on the island of Sardinia three years ago was shown to jurors in Kozlowski's larceny trial Tuesday.

Jurors saw the 30-minute video of the 40th birthday party for Kozlowski's wife as part of a case that accuses him and former Tyco finance chief Mark Swartz of looting the company out of $600 million.

Tyco footed about half the bill for the party in Sardinia, which featured an ice sculpture of Michelangelo's David spewing vodka from his penis and a birthday cake in the shape of a woman's breasts with sparklers mounted on top.

Those and other saucy scenes were edited out of the video shown to jurors, who instead saw Kozlowski welcoming guests, toasting his wife and dancing to a performance by singer Jimmy Buffett. The tape also shows guests wearing togas and tight briefs. Buffett and his group were said to have been flown in at a cost of $250,000.

A scene from the $2 million birthday bash on Sardinia

Prosecutors have argued that the party -- which cost an estimated $2 million, half coming from Tyco (TYC: down $0.22 to $20.70, Research, Estimates) funds -- is evidence of Kozlowski making personal use of company money.

The defense has contended the trip was partly a business function and had fought to keep the jury from seeing the four-hour tape, saying it has material that is prejudicial to Kozlowski without adding anything to the charges he is on trial for.

"It's going to be a fun week, sailing on the Endeavor, tennis, golf, eating, drinking. All the things we are best known for,'' Kozlowski says on the video to the 75 guests arriving for a week of festivities.

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Take a peek at the $2.1 million birthday party that former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski threw in Sardinia for his wife's 40th birthday.

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About half of the invitations went to Tyco employees, while the rest went to friends of Kozlowski's.

Kozlowski watched the video, along with a 20-minute display of still photographs, on a small monitor from his seat at the defense table, smiling and nodding his head at several different points.

Jurors showed little reaction, and many in the crowded courtroom appeared bored by the cleaned-up video of the birthday party for Kozlowski's second wife, Karen Mayo, at Sardinia's Hotel Cala di Volpe.

Austin Campriello, a defense attorney, tried to bring out testimony that the party also included key business meetings and that Kozlowski had no knowledge of plans for gladiators, chariots or "dancing around a pool.''

After the video and still pictures were displayed, Campriello asked former Tyco events coordinator Barbara Jacques whether it would "be correct to say that once the concept was given to you ... you ran with the ball without a lot of consultation with Dennis Kozlowski.''

Dennis Kozlowski
Tyco International Ltd.

"That is correct,'' said Jacques.

After the tape was shown to jurors, Kozlowski was heard telling reporters off camera, "It was a nice party, with nice people."

Kozlowski and former CFO Swartz each could face up to 30 years in prison.  Top of page

-- from staff and wire reports

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