Caan stands bail in Mafia case

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The Independent Online
LOS ANGELES - The actor James Caan, one of the stars of the mobster classic The Godfather, has been called to be a character witness for an alleged real-life organised crime leader, Ronald Lorenzo, whom police accuse of being a cocaine trafficker and the ringleader of a series of robberies and kidnappings, writes Phil Reeves.

Caan, 52, has described Mr Lorenzo as his 'best friend', and twice offered to pledge his home in Bel-Air, Los Angeles, as collateral for bail. Prosecutors in Los Angeles claim that Mr Lorenzo, 46, who has been in custody since June on dollars 2m (pounds 1.1m) bail, is a leading figure in the powerful New York-based Bonanno crime family. He faces life imprisonment without parole, if convicted.

Caan, who recently starred in the commercially successful film Honeymoon in Vegas, said that he knew of no crime committed by Mr Lorenzo. 'Had he, he wouldn't be my best friend.'

(Photograph omitted)