Siegelman Trial - Day 31 - Closing Arguments

Siegelman and his wife told reporters they expect an acquittal.
Siegelman and his wife told reporters they expect an acquittal.

Closing arguments in the federal bribery trial of former Governor Don Siegelman were scheduled to continue Thursday morning.

The trial in Montgomery recessed Wednesday evening after defense teams for Siegelman, former chief of staff Paul Hamrick and former highway chief Mack Roberts attacked the government case. They said it was built on the lies of con artists.

The defense for former HealthSouth chief Richard Scrushy will be first up Thursday morning.

After one last response from prosecutors, the jury is to begin deliberations.

Prosecutors described Siegelman as a greedy public official who received lavish gifts and campaign contributions from political insiders. They said he gave preferential treatment on state deals in return.

But defense lawyers tried to undermine the case by pointing to the admitted crimes of the government's two key witnesses -- former Siegelman aide Nick Bailey and one-time lobbyist Lanny Young.

Both have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

Siegelman lawyer Vince Kilborn said the former governor's biggest mistake was allowing them to get close to him.

Copyright 2006. Alabama Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.