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Former Illinois Governor Blagojevich Convicted in Corruption Trial


Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been convicted of making false statements to federal agents, in a corruption case that grew out of allegations he tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama after the 2008 presidential election.

After two weeks of deliberations, jurors in Chicago Tuesday convicted the former governor, who faced 24 counts including fraud, racketeering and attempted extortion. Those charges included an alleged attempt to sell Mr. Obama's vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Jurors were not able to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the other counts against Blagojevich, including the one involving Mr. Obama's Senate seat. Prosecutors say they intend to retry the case "as quickly as possible."

Blagojevich told reporters that he intends to appeal the single guilty count of lying to federal agents. He also complained that he and his family are victims of persecution by the federal government.

The former governor was arrested in December 2008. The Illinois state senate later convicted him of abuse of power and voted to remove him from office.

Mr. Obama resigned from his Senate seat shortly after being elected president. He has said he had no contact with Blagojevich or his office regarding his replacement.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters

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