Blagojevich`s conviction delayed
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Last Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2011, 10:57
  
Chicago: Sentencing of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, convicted for trying to auction US President Barack Obama’s Senate seat, has been put on hold.

The sentencing that was scheduled for October 6 has been put on hold for Blagojevich, who was convicted in June on corruption charges including wire fraud, extortion and bribery by US District Judge James Zagel.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Zagel gave no reason for the delay in a brief written order, but it didn't come as a surprise because Blagojevich's co-defendant, Springfield power broker William Cellini, goes on trial before Zagel beginning next week.

Zagel also denied Blagojevich's bid for a new trial. Prosecutors have calculated that the former governor could get as much as 30 years to life under federal sentencing guidelines.

However, legal experts have estimated a sentence of anywhere from 10-12 years for the former governor.

"He's a fit candidate for probation. The taxpayers never lost a dime. Blagojevich never received a dime," attorney Sheldon Sorosky was quoted as saying in the Chicago Sun-Times of his client who was convicted of 17 out of 20 counts including selling the senate seat of then-President elect Barack Obama.

Blagojevich was also charged with pay-to-play politics when he took cash in exchange for job appointments.

"All the talk involving campaign contributions involved regular campaign donors who were just discussing with Blagojevich how much to give or who were big campaign contributors in the past," Sorosky said.

Sorosky said the sentencing would happen early November. Two Indian American businessmen Rajinder Bedi and Raghuveer Nayak were accused of helping Blagojevich for planning to hold a fundraiser in return to appoint Jesse Jackson Jr in the senate seat. Bedi was an aide in the Blagojevich government.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2011, 10:57


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