BOSTON (AP) — The judge overseeing the trial of Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger says he won’t weigh in on an appeals court hearing into whether he should step down in the case.

The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Stearns, a federal prosecutor in the 1980s, came in a one-paragraph filing Wednesday.

The Boston Globe reports that Stearns says in the filing that he will defer to his previous decisions, in which he says he has no conflict of interest overseeing the case.

Bulger, a former FBI informant, says Stearns knew or should have known about his relationship with the FBI, including Bulger’s claim that he received immunity for his crimes for serving as an informant. Bulger denies participating in 19 murders.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing is scheduled for Jan. 8.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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