The judge presiding over the Notorious BIG wrongful-death trial in Los Angeles declared a mistrial yesterday (06JUL05), after new evidence further fuelled allegations of a police cover-up.

The family of Notorious - real name CHRISTOPHER WALLACE - was suing the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the city for wrongful death, and identified an ex-LAPD officer named David A Mack as an alleged mastermind of the shooting, even though he was not named as a defendant.

The Wallaces' lawyer Perry Sanders revealed last month (24JUN05) that the LAPD withheld evidence from an informant claiming Mack and another former officer RAFAEL PEREZ confessed to two prison inmates that they had murdered Notorious as he sat outside a post-Soul Train Music Awards party in LA on 9 March 1997.

Judge FLORENCE-MARIE COOPER dismissed the police officer's claim that he had previously forgotten about his interview with the prison informant on Tuesday (05JUL05). She said his explanation "defies credulity. I do not believe it."

The Wallace family will now refile the civil case with a new person named as a defendant and an added claim of racketeering within the LAPD.

08/07/2005 12:55