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Jury Deadlocked in Bribery Trial of Democratic Senator Menendez

  • VOA News

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez leaves the federal courthouse in Newark, New Jersey, Nov. 13, 2017.

A juror in the bribery trial of U.S. Democratic Senator Bob Menendez has told the judge the panel is deadlocked.

The judge told the jury to go home and resume deliberations Tuesday, dismissing the prosecution's request that they stay and keep talking.

"Clearly there are jurors who believe in my innocence," Menendez told reporters outside the Newark, New Jersey courtroom.

He urged those who think he is innocent not let themselves be coerced in changing their minds.

The New Jersey Democrat is on trial for allegedly taking gifts from a wealthy Florida donor in exchange for political favors. They include trips aboard a private jet and a luxury vacation in Paris. The donor, a prominent Florida eye doctor, is also on trial.

Menendez and the doctor have denied the charges, saying the gifts were came out of their longtime friendship.

Last week, a dismissed member of the jury told reporters she believes the trial will end in a hung jury and that she had planned to vote to acquit.

Four of the jurors told the judge they heard the comments, even though they had been ordered not to read anything about the case.

The judge replaced the dismissed jury member with an alternate and ordered them to restart deliberations.

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