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

Blagojevich openings and first witness to come Monday

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Work is finished for the week in Rod Blagojevich's trial, as attorneys just broke to go home.

They'll return Monday morning to issue strikes and pick a final jury from a group of 45.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar said opening statements for the prosecution will take an hour -- maybe less. Ditto for the defense, says Aaron Goldstein, who will be delivering openings for Blagojevich.

And it sounds like prosecutors could get to their first witness that day. That person will be FBI Special Agent Dan Cain, Schar said.

Also Thursday, Schar asked U.S. District Judge James Zagel to keep tabs on the defense opening remarks. Schar complained that the defense used an "advice of counsel" defense last time, in part by saying Blagojevich considered his chief of staff John Harris, an attorney. That's beyond a stretch, Schar argued.

"The only way to get the defense in is for someone to stand up and say: 'I thought that was legal," Zagel said. Zagel said he allowed in some statements in the last trial because Blagojevich's attorney swore that the former governor would take the stand. But then he didn't.

Zagel said even if defense lawyers promise it again this time, he will not base his rulings on those promises.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on April 28, 2011 4:38 PM.

Blagojevich jury questioning ending -- final jury to be picked Monday was the previous entry in this blog.

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