Rezko trial: Ata could be up next week

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Prosecutors said this morning in Tony Rezko's trial that Ali Ata, the newest explosive witness of the trial, could be called to the stand next Wednesday or Thursday.

The defense though, said this last-minute change (Ata wasn't on the prosecution's witness list), means they will need more time before pursuing their cross examination. Rezko lawyer Joseph Duffy said he has 28 boxes of discovery related to Ata at his office.
"I don't have the time or resources to deal with 28 boxes," Duffy complained.

Judge Amy St. Eve told the prosecution to come up with a summary of what they believe Ata will testify to next week.

Over the last two days, we've had glimpses into some of Ata's potential testimony including that he was in the room with Gov. Blagojevich when money changed hands in connection with an alleged trade off of campaign cash for a state job. And yesterday, prosecutors revealed that Ata has alleged that Rezko worked with others to try to get rid of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Also this morning, prosecutors reiterated that they could be done with direct evidence by next week's end.

St. Eve also said that the prosecution couldn't get into Rezko's financial relationship with Iraqi-born billionaire Nahdmi Auchi, who bought off Rezko's remaining interest in 62 acres of a South Loop property. At one point, Duffy said he would like to tell jurors about how Rezko has been financially ruined. But St. Eve warned off Duffy, telling him it wasn't an area he should get into, since he has tried so hard to keep details of Rezko's finances under wraps.

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Natasha Korecki

Natasha Korecki is the Federal Courts Reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, covering federal news, corruption investigations and trials.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on April 24, 2008 9:32 AM.

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