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Grand Jury Reindicts Blagojevich

CHICAGO (CN) - Prosecutors reindicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges, fearing an upcoming ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court could complicate or delay his trial, scheduled for June. The Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on "honest services."

Opponents of the honest services law say it gives prosecutors the right to go after anyone they don't like or disagree with politically.

But the U.S. Department of Justice says the law plays an important role in prosecuting fraud cases that do not involve loss of property or money.

A federal grand jury handed down the new 24-count indictment against Blagojevich, who was indicted in April 2009 on 16 counts.

The new indictment does not allege any new wrongdoing, but contains eight new counts that do not rely on the honest services law.

The new charges include racketeering, attempted extortion, bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit extortion, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office in January 2009.


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