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

Cellini lawyers hash out issues with judge. Potential jurors wait.

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Potential jurors in William Cellini's trial were in federal court this morning, but so far, jury selection hasn't started in the corruption case of the Downstate power broker.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers were still in chambers with U.S. District Judge James Zagel discussing issues connected to the trial, court personnel said this morning. They're expected in court at about 12:15 p.m. Make that 1:15, according to the most recent update.

Last week, lawyers went behind closed doors to talk about star witness Stuart Levine and how much leeway Zagel would give the defense in his questioning.

Levine, who has pleaded guilty to using his influence on state boards to win kickbacks, has a salty history that includes drug use and partying. Prosecutors had asked Zagel to block the defense from asking about some of those issues.

Zagel has not yet ruled on the matter.

Cellini, a onetime co-defendant of Rod Blagojevich, is accused of trying to extort a Hollywood producer who sought state business.

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IF Judge Zagel doesn't let in his drug use, what will they attribute his memory loss to? He couldn't remeber 3.5 years ago in the trial of Tony Rezko, how is he going to remember important details now? Unless he's been studying...Stuart Levine got tripped up by Joe Duffy when asked about his drug use Levine said he went "cold turkey" after being arrested by the feds only admitting under cross that he "Had used" a couple of times after that....He also admitted not remembering signing a $3. million dollar check, he thought his secretary did it...IF Judge Zagel doesn't let in his drug use there will be strong grounds for a mistrial...

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on October 3, 2011 11:33 AM.

Rezko sentencing date moved again. Prosecutors cite Cellini trial. was the previous entry in this blog.

Short day in power broker's trial. Cellini restarts tomorrow. is the next entry in this blog.

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