Blagojevich`s conviction delayed

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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