Chicago: The corruption retrial of former
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who is accused of trying to
sell US President Barack Obama`s vacated US Senate seat began
here on Tuesday at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.
The jury consisted of 15 women and 3 men including 3
African American women and 1 Hispanic man.
Judge James Zagel swore the jury and explained to them
the difference between circumstantial and direct evidence and
the required code of conduct.
The prosecution`s opening arguments was presented by US
Attorney Christopher Niewoehner who stated that Blagojevich,
54, had committed five crimes.
Niewoehner said Blagojevich did all these crimes during a
time when his family income was down and his debt had
increased 100 per cent.
Defense attorney Aaron Goldstein repeatedly said that
Blagojevich had received "nothing" from his deals and plans
and alleged than many of Blagojevich`s friends had betrayed
him in exchange for immunity and plea deals with the
Wiretaps caught by FBI portrayed Blagojevich saying,
`Obama`s vacancy as "(expletive) golden" and something that he
wouldn`t give up for "(expletive) nothing."
Tomorrow, FBI Agent Daniel Cains will be the first
witness to take the stand.
Goldstein also did not mentioned whether Blagojevich will
testify at the retrial.
In April, about 30 doctors and 10 employees of Raghuveer
Nayak, an Indian-American Chicago businessman were subpoenaed.
Nayak owns at least a dozen ambulatory surgical centres
in Illinois and Indiana and is alleged to have made improper
payments to doctors to perform surgery at his centres.
The investigation will try to find out the link between
Blagojevich, Nayak, a longtime friend of the Jackson family,
and his friend Rajinder Bedi, a Blagojevich aide, who tried to
sell the empty seat of then president-elect Barack Obama to
Senator Jesse Jackson Jr, in exchange for a USD 6 million