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Feds urge judge not to delay Blagojevich trial

  Court Watch  -   POSTED: 2010/03/16 15:07

Prosecutors urged a federal judge Monday to turn down ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's request to delay his corruption trial, saying public interest in the case warrants a speedy resolution.

Blagojevich's attorneys asked U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel last week to postpone the trial, which is scheduled to begin June 3, by five months.

Prosecutors told Zagel that Blagojevich "has repeatedly and publicly challenged the legitimacy of the charges against him."

"As a result, the public has a strong interest in the expeditious resolution of the charges — an interest that would not be served by an unnecessary delay of five months in the start of his trial," prosecutors said.

They also reminded Zagel that by June 3, Blagojevich will have had more than a year to prepare with a number of lawyers working on his behalf.

Blagojevich is charged with racketeering conspiracy and other offenses that include allegations he schemed to sell or trade President Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat and illegally pressured people doing business with the state for campaign contributions. He has pleaded not guilty.

His attorneys have asked that the start of the trial be delayed until Nov. 3, saying they must review an overwhelming number of documents and there is no way they can have the job done by June.


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