Singh leaves the stand after 12 days of testimony

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CENTRAL ISLIP -

After 12 days on the stand, the cross-examination of restaurateur Harendra Singh in the Mangano-Venditto corruption trial is now over.

Singh is the prosecution’s star witness in the federal corruption trial of former Nassau Executive Ed Mangano, his wife Linda and former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto. Singh has testified that he bribed the former Nassau officials to keep his restaurants afloat.

“Mr. Singh, the two words you have been dying to hear: You’re excused,” Judge Joan Azrack said today.

Thursday's proceedings were a whirlwind, with Singh fielding a flurry of questions from the prosecution and the defense.

MORE: Venditto's attorney questions Singh for second day  

The attorneys for the defendants say they believe they proved that Singh's words can't be trusted. Over the course of their cross-examination, they spent time trying to poke holes in Singh’s statements – releasing wiretapped conversations, text messages and emails that seemed to counter his testimony.

“It was palpable in that courtroom how desperate this guy is,” said John Carman, the defense attorney for Linda Mangano.

“Mr. Singh was on the stand for 12 days and I think he demonstrated that he is clinically incapable of telling the truth,” said Kevin Keating, Ed Mangano’s attorney.

Keating also said that Singh “probably told 1,000 lies in 12 days of testimony.”

The defense has continued to contend that Singh is lying about bribing his former friends, in order to secure a lighter prison sentence. Singh is facing 30 years to life behind bars after pleading guilty to multiple charges.

For its part, the prosecution sought to drive home the idea that while Singh did enjoy friendly relationships with the Manganos and Venditto, his gifts were indeed bribes for which official government action was expected in return.

Prosecutor Catherine Mirabile asked, "How many of your friends, other than Linda Mangano, did you give a $100,000 per year no-show job to?”

Singh replied, "None."

On Wednesday, Singh testified about the way in which he says he became a major donor for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. In exchange, has said de Blasio helped him to try and extend a lease on his Long Island City restaurant, the Water's Edge. Venditto's defense attorney Marc Agnifilo said Thursday that he is considering calling the New York City mayor to the stand. He says he believes de Blasio would deny those conversations with Singh took place.

“There is certainly some relevance in that, to have the sitting New York City mayor come in and say the prosecution's star witness is lying,” said Agnifilo.

The trial will resume on Monday with the prosecution calling more witnesses to the stand.

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