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18 months after arrest, Blagojevich trial begins

file photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

By Sam Hudzik, WBEZ

Chicago – The long-awaited corruption trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich begins today in Chicago.

Over the next few days, Judge James Zagel will question the 100 or so potential jurors.

The prosecutors' case against Rod Blagojevich and his brother Robert includes allegations that the former governor tried to profit from his power to fill a U.S. Senate seat.

The government is expected to use taped phone calls to show the scheme in action.

Ever since U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald first announced the arrest in 2008, Blagojevich has declared his innocence.

The governor has said he's eager for his day in court, but his attorneys repeatedly sought to delay the trial, citing the large amount of evidence and a pending Supreme Court ruling.

Their latest request for delay was denied Wednesday.


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