Chicago Crime Update: No Appeal Bond for Conrad Black, Jury Will See Photos of Rezko's House
Two news items from Chicago today. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an appeal bond for Conrad Black, while granting one to his two co-defendants. The British publishing magnate must report Monday to a federal prison in Coleman, Florida to start serving his 6 1/2 year sentence.
While the Court said there's a substantial issue on the fraud convictions (which, if decided in defendant's favor, likely would result in a reversal or new trial being granted) it found no such issue on Black's obstruction of justice conviction. The old coverup -- it gets you every time.
In the Anton Rezko trial which begins with jury selection Monday, the judge ruled today that photos of Rezko's mansion will come into evidence because it shows his opulent lifestyle and some of the alleged unlawful fundraising activity took place there.[More...]
Rezko, charged in a scheme to bribe and corrupt Illinois officials, held numerous fundraising events at his Wilmette mansion, including one for the 2004 senate campaign of Obama that raised more than $60,000.
Obama is not considered a target of the federal corruption investigation, and his campaign staff says any contribution tied to Rezko has since been donated to charity.
The Judges' ruling in Rezko is here (pdf).
For those who say this trial won't touch Obama because he did nothing wrong, it looks like while that should be the case (and I agree there's no indication Obama did anything improper or illegal) the media may not be willing to give him a publicity pass after all.
The ruling indicated that witnesses will testify about events that took place at Rezko's home, but it does not indicate whether the Obama fundraiser, held in June 2003, would be one of the events.
Several of Rezko's associates, also figure in the investigation, attended and contributed to Obama.
An earlier motion by prosecutors detailed two instances in which Rezko directed others to make campaign contributions to "a political candidate" who has since been identified by Chicago papers as Obama.
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