Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

The Blagojeviches trial. Cellini to be tried separately.

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And then there were two.
Rod Blagojevich and his brother, Rob, will go to trial without anyone else next year after the government agreed to try Downstate businessman William Cellini separately.
Cellini was charged in 2008 with allegedly trying to shake down a movie producer seeking to do business with the state's school pension board.
When the former governor and his brother were indicted in April, prosecutors superseded their case onto Cellini's, creating speculation they were trying to "pick" their judge.
Cellini's lawyers from the beginning argued their client had nothing to do with the ex-governor's case and should be tried separately.
The government disagreed at the time.
But since then, two defendants in the case dropped out of the trial.
Two former aides charged in the case -- John Harris and Lon Monk -- each pleaded guilty.
But most significantly, Christopher Kelly, who died of an apparent suicide, is no longer part of the case. Prosecutors say Kelly was the bridge between Cellini and the former governor.
"It was the allegations and evidence against Kelly that provided much of the rationale to keep the defendants together in one trial," prosecutors wrote in a filing today. "As the government no longer needs to prove the allegations against Kelly, who was integrally involved in the activities underlying the charges against both Cellini and Rod Blagojevich, there is now significantly less overlap in the evidence that the government anticipates would be introduced against Rod Blagojevich and Cellini."
The government points out that Cellini is not charged in any count with either Blagojevich.
The matter is up before U.S. District Judge James Zagel next week.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on November 13, 2009 2:04 PM.

Blagojevich wants new trial date was the previous entry in this blog.

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