Officer asked to reveal confidential informant during fatal hit- - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Officer asked to reveal confidential informant during fatal hit-and-run trial

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SAUGUS, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A police officer in Saugus is being asked to reveal a confidential source in the trial of suspected hit-and-run driver who may have killed a Saugus man in 2010.

Christos Agganis, 81, was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver outside his family's dinner in 2010.

FOX 25's Bob Ward featured the story as part of his Crime Files during a newscast, and as a result, police received a tip that resulted in the arrest of Steffany Barbanti.

The case is heading to trial; however, a major issue has come up.

Barbanti's lawyer wants the name of the tipster who called police after FOX 25's story ran. The officer who took the call is a Saugus police lieutenant, and he is refusing to give up the name.

At Salem Superior Court on Monday, both the district attorney and Barbanti's lawyer said the tipster's name should be release.

"It now appears that the so-called confidential informant claims he overheard a conversation without identifying where it happened, who the people are that were having the conversation, when it happened, where it happened. I believe it is important the defendant has this information," Barbanti said. "It is my position, and the Commonwealth agreed, I would ask you order Saugus police to identify the so-called individual."

The district attorney is concerned if the police officer doesn't release the tipster's name, it could hurt her case against Barbanti.

"There can't be anything the confidential informant can say to police other than, you may want to talk to this person named Prizzio that may be relevant about who may have been driving the car. That's the extent of it. And that's the extent of the information that's given in the initial report," Neil Rossman, an attorney for the Saugus Police Department said.

The Saugus Police Department says it is a matter of police business and it can't reveal a confidential informant's name; however, the district attorney and the defense attorney say it's in the best interest of justice.

All sides go back to court on April 2.

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