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Source: Judge approves dropping 3 charges against Blagojevich

From Bill Mears, CNN
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich still faces trial on 17 public corruption-related charges.
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich still faces trial on 17 public corruption-related charges.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The former Illinois governor still faces trial in April on 17 corruption-related charges
  • His first trial ended in conviction on one count of lying, with a hung jury on most other counts

(CNN) -- A federal judge is set to formally approve three criminal counts being dropped from the corruption case of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a judicial source in Chicago told CNN.

The racketeering, racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud charges were part of a broader indictment against Blagojevich, who faces re-trial in April.

The onetime governor still faces trial on 17 public corruption-related charges.

Prosecutors made the request to drop three charges in a court hearing Thursday, a move the defense has accepted. Judge James Zagel indicated he would grant the motion, and would have to issue a formal, written order.

Blagojevich's first trial ended in conviction on only one count of lying, with a hung jury on most of the other counts, leading to a re-indictment. Federal prosecutors this time said in court papers that dropping the three charges will streamline their new case. Some jurors in then initial trail complained the case laid out by the government against Blagojevich was too complex to follow.

From CNN's Bill Mears

 
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