Riley attorney responds to retrial testimony order

File Photo
File Photo

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Former Alabama Governor Bob Riley will have to be in the courtroom for the federal gambling corruption retrial scheduled to start in January.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel Jr. ruled Monday that Riley and his public safety director, Chris Murphy, must be available to testify in the upcoming retrial.

The former governor's attorneys and the Alabama Attorney General's office both argued that a former governor shouldn't be forced to testify, especially when information they may have could be found through other witnesses.

"If the federal court ultimately rules Governor Riley has relevant testimony to give, he will be there at trial to give it," said Matthew Lembke, Riley's attorney. "We are still studying the order. We haven't made any decisions on any future legal steps."

Defense attorneys argued that the former governor has vital information relating to the investigation into corruption within the Alabama Statehouse.

"No judge has yet ruled on if Governor Riley has any relevant information or if that information being sought is not privileged," Lembke said adding that another judge hear the same argument last June, "and ruled Mr. Mcgregor didn't sufficiently show support for a subpoena."

The judge ruled that he couldn't assume what defense attorneys would ask of Riley if he took the witness stand and so denied the motions to keep him from testifying.

Lembke questioned the need to call Riley to testify. "Question is what does it take for a former Governor to testify about his service as Governor? If there are not limits, then Governors may spend the rest of their lives testifying about what occurred while they were in office."

The retrial is scheduled to start Jan. 30, 2012.

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