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CONFLICT RAGES IN, OUT OF COURT

With a tempest brewing outside court over defense comments about criminalist Dennis Fung, prosecutors in court sought to discount assertions that the Los Angeles Police Department criminalist was part of a sinister conspiracy against O.J. Simpson.

Prosecutor Hank Goldberg mixed sarcasm with explanation Friday when questioning the beleaguered Fung about the collection of key blood evidence from outside Simpson's Brentwood home and the crime scene.Countering defense suggestions that Fung mishandled a sample of Simpson's blood, Goldberg asked if Fung, when receiving the vial from LAPD detective Phil Vannatter on June 13, announced loudly: "Hey, I'm getting the blood vial!"

The question drew a defense objection, but Goldberg continued on.

"No," Fung answered.

In his blistering cross-examination, Simpson lawyer Barry Scheck asserted that Fung lied about receiving the blood vial, noting that he had little memory about the specifics of the event or how the evidence was pro-cessed.

They also contend Fung got the blood June 14 - a day after it was taken from Simpson at Parker Center police headquarters - giving police the opportunity to plant evidence.

Abbreviated testimony in the sensational trial Friday, meanwhile, was overshadowed by events outside court.

Police Chief Willie L. Williams and several Asian-American groups voiced criticism of two incidents alleged to have involved Simpson's lawyers Robert Shapiro and Johnnie Cochran Jr.

On Thursday, Shapiro was seen giving fortune cookies in the courtroom to authors Joe McGinnis and Dominick Dunne. A reporter overheard him say, "These are from Dennis Fung."

Dunne said Friday that Shapiro said to him, "This is from Hang Fung restaurant," but that he did not believe the attorney was being malicious.

Also Thursday, Cochran was heard saying in courtroom halls: "We're having Fung."

Shapiro said he was misquoted but did not elaborate. There was no answer at Cochran's office Friday afternoon.

Williams said: "To have members of the defense team, who are defending a minority and some of them are minorities themselves, to make any statement that infers a racial slur is outrageous."

Coming quickly on the heels of Sen. Alfonse D'Amato's imitation of Judge Ito on a New York radio show and details of racial tensions on the jury, Shapiro's comment touched a raw nerve.

"It's the height of hypocrisy," said Williams.

Kathy Imahara, a lawyer with the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles, called it "really uncalled for and inappropriate."

Fung will return to the witness stand Monday when testimony resumes in the Simpson trial. Prosecutors are again expected to focus on rehabilitating his testimony.

In court Friday, Goldberg produced various documents to shore up his witness' contentions that Vannatter brought the vial of blood to him on June 13 while the crim-in-al-ist was still at Simpson's Rockingham Avenue home.

A photo of an envelope that contained the vial showed notations indicating Fung received the item on June 13.

And a portion of video footage suggested the outline of a possible envelope in a black trash bag - the same bag that criminalist Andrea Mazzola carried away from the Simp-son home that same day.

"I think that Goldberg did a good job," said University of Southern California law professor Erwin Chemerinsky.

But Myrna Raeder, a Southwestern University law professor, said Fung's credibility still hadn't been re-established.