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
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,"
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.