Judge wants to review Siegelman witness binder

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Former Alabama govenor Don Siegelman talks with the media at the federal courthouse in Montgomery, Ala. on Tuesday May 2, 2006 during a recess in the second day of his bribery and political corruption trial. A judge has ordered U.S. Attorney George Beck to turn over a folder used to prep Nick Bailey, a prosecution witness in the case. (Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh)

A U.S. Magistrate Judge Thursday ordered the U.S. Attorney in Montgomery to turn over a binder used to prepare a key witness in the 2006 corruption trial of former Gov. Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.

Charles S. Coody ordered George Beck, the U.S. Attorney for Alabama’s Middle District, to submit the documents relating to former Siegelman aide Nick Bailey to allow him to review it.

At a discovery hearing on Wednesday, attorneys for both Siegelman and Scrushy argued they needed access to documents to evaluate claims made by Bailey on the news program 60 Minutes that he rewrote his testimony for prosecutors dozens of times.

The attorneys also argued for discovery on other issues, including the recusal of then-U.S. Attorney Leura Canary; Coody had not issued any rulings on those subjects as of Thursday morning.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montgomery did not have immediate comment Thursday morning.   A request for comment was sent to Arthur Leach, a Scrushy attorney who handled most of the court arguments Wednesday.

Beck represented Bailey during the trial.  Bailey provided key testimony at trial, in which Siegelman and Scrushy were convicted on bribery and corruption charges relating to a $500,000 donation Scrushy made to Siegelman’s lottery campaign in 1999.  Siegelman appointed Scrushy to the state’s Certificate of Need board, which evaluates hospital improvements, shortly after the donation.

Siegelman served nine months in prison before being released on an appeal bond in 2008; Scrushy remains in federal prison in Texas.  A federal appeals court earlier this year threw out two convictions against the men but allowed the remainder of the convictions to stand and sent the case back to U.S. District Court for resentencing.  Both men are seeking retrials, contending the charges were politically motivated.

– posted by Brian Lyman

2 thoughts on “Judge wants to review Siegelman witness binder

  1. This is good news. It would have been greater had he asked for the material concerning Ms. Canary supposed recusal. We know she’s lying, but it will be nice when Judge Coody sees it for himself.

    I hope it doesn’t take a sit-in by those of us who believe in truth and justice to get the appropriate action taken.

    Esther Davis
    Huntsville

  2. We who have been following this case, know that it was politically motivated from the very beginning.
    If these two men are guility of anything, then every politican in the USA is guility!
    Let them go enjoy the rest of their lives and the DOJ needs to concentrate on some real crimes. Starting with an investigation of why this was “made” into a case!
    Also on the murders, child molestions and kidnappings!

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