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|Judge Orders Blago Trials to Stay Together
|A federal judge Wednesday ruled that the political corruption trial of the former governor and his brother will not be separated.
Judge James B. Zagel believes the majority of evidence will be addressed directly against ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich and not his brother Robert Blagojevich, and didn't find grounds for severance.
"In my point of view [Robert Blagojevich] is slightly advantaged," the judge said. "It's usually favorable against whom there is lesser evidence."
Robert Blagojevich was not in court, but the ex-governor was, just a day after he appealed again that all 500 hours of FBI wiretap tapes be played in court.
Zagel said he wasn't yet ready to rule on a motion regarding the tapes but did ask Blagojevich's defense attorneys to prepare a list of tapes of certain conversations they believe are crucial to the case. He clarified that copies of tape transcripts along with a brief explanation of why they are crucial to the case are what attorneys Sam Adam Sr., Sam Adam Jr. and Sheldon Sorosky should prepare. The prosecution will not have access to that evidence while Zagel makes an ultimate decision on which tapes will and won't be allowed. The judge says his reasoning is that he doesn't want to waste jurors' time.
Speaking with reporters after the status hearing, Blagojevich says he is pleased with the judge's decision and called him a "very fair man" and a "very thoughtful man."
Adam told reporters he though there could be close to 200 hours of tape they would want a sworn jury to hear, but added that was just a ballpark estimate.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|04 21 10 by Newsroom
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