Blagojevich sentencing set for October
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 02, 2011, 15:34
Chicago: A federal judge has set October 6 as the tentative sentencing date for former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, convicted on charges of bribery, attempted extortion and conspiracy.

The hearing could last for two days depending on whom the defense may call as character witnesses and what Blagojevich chooses to say to the judge, US District Judge James Zagel said while setting the sentencing date, 'Chicago Sun-Times' reported.

Sheldon Sorosky, Blagojevich's lawyer, said that he plans to testify at the sentencing.

On July 5, Blagojevich sought to appeal his convictions and filed a motion to overturn 17 out of the 20 counts among multiple charges including wire fraud and selling the senate seat of then-president-elect Barack Obama.

Two American-Indian businessmen and Blagojevich's pals, Rajinder Bedi and Raghuveer Nayak had planned to hold fundraisers for the ex-governor in exchange for appointing Jesse Jackson Jr in the empty senate seat of Obama in 2008.

The ousted governor was convicted for his role in selling the senate seat.

Legal experts say that Blagojevich could get a maximum sentence of ten years, although he faces 300 years in prison.

Blagojevich was "a good, honest governor who tried to help the people of Illinois," Sorosky was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

"He cared about the ordinary guy," Sorosky added.

Before sentencing Blagojevich, Zagel first must rule on a 158-page defense motion for a retrial in which Blagojevich's lawyers argue that he didn't receive a fair trial because Zagel didn?t allow him to testify about his intent in the corrupt deals, the newspaper said.

"It doesn't seem to me that anything new is raised," Zagel said.

On July 25, Blagojevich had asked for a third trial for his conviction on selling the senate seat alleging that there were errors and biases at the re-trial.


First Published: Tuesday, August 02, 2011, 15:34

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