Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rezko plea for acquittal denied

BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter
A federal judge has denied Tony Rezko’s plea for an acquittal or new trial, giving the convicted businessman even more incentive to cooperate with the feds.

In a 34-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve didn’t buy the argument that

Rezko’s conviction relied solely on the testimony of a shaky witness: Stuart Levine.

Levine sat on two state boards that Rezko was convicted of defrauding with Levine.

Levine was the chief witness in the case, testifying for 15 days.

“The government introduced substantially more evidence than just the testimony of Stuart Levine to prove defendant Rezko’s criminal conduct, including extensive corroborating wire taps,” St. Eve wrote. “When viewing all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the government, the government proved defendant’s knowledge and intent beyond a reasonable doubt. A new trial is not required in the interest of justice.”

Rezko has been providing information to federal prosecutors since August. The two sides haven’t signed a cooperation deal, however.

St. Eve’s opinion allows Rezko to appeal his conviction with a higher court. The next hearing in Rezko’s case is scheduled in January.

Rezko’s attorney declined to comment.


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