Judge denies Blagojevich motion for mistrial

May 11, 2011

By Associated Press

(AP/File)

A federal judge in Chicago has denied Rod Blagojevich's request for a mistrial in the ousted Illinois governor's political corruption retrial.

Defense attorney Lauren Kaeseberg sought the mistrial Wednesday, saying the defense hasn't been allowed to conduct any "meaningful cross-examinations." Kaeseberg says defense attorneys are being "cut off at the knees" by prosecutors' objections. During one cross-examination Monday, prosecutors objected to the defense's questions more than 150 times, most of which were sustained by the judge.

Judge James Zagel denied the motion, saying the grounds for mistrial were too general. After the brief discussion, prosecutors called the state's former international trade director, Rajinder Bedi.

Blagojevich faces 20 charges, including that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat. He has denied any wrongdoing.