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Rezko jury selection begins

By Sam Hudzik, Chicago Public Radio

Chicago – Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of a major political fundraiser in Illinois.

Tony Rezko's prosecution has brought some uncomfortable attention to some of the state's top political figures.

Rezko is accused of fraud, extortion and money laundering. The charges are part of an alleged scheme to force kickbacks and political contributions from companies seeking state contracts.

A court filing last week named Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich as the intended beneficiary of a Rezko scheme, but the governor distanced himself from the situation.

"What was described there doesn't describe me or how I do things," Blagojevich said.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has also faced criticism for his connections to Rezko, including a land deal the senator later said was a "mistake."

Prosecutors have not accused Obama or Blagojevich of any wrongdoing.

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