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Bribery trial begins for ex-Alabama governor, former HealthSouth CEO

[JURIST] The trial for former Alabama Governor Donald Siegelman [campaign website; official profile] and former HealthSouth [corporate website] CEO Richard Scrushy [JURIST news archive] begins Tuesday as the pair face federal bribery and racketeering charges [JURIST report]. Siegelman is accused of accepting bribes from contractors to award state work, and Scrushy allegedly paid $500,000 to pay off Siegelman's 1999 campaigning debts in exchange for Scrushy being appointed to a state-operated review board which regulates hospitals.

Siegelman has denied the charges against him, calling it a Republican conspiracy by current Alabama Governor Bob Riley [official website], whose wife is a US attorney, and said he wants the trial completed before the June 6 primary election as he hopes to win back the governor seat. Siegelman faced prior federal charges for conspiracy and fraud, but those were dropped [JURIST report] in 2004 by a federal judge. Scrushy was acquitted [JURIST report] of being involved in a $2.7 billion accounting fraud at his former company last year. Tuesday's New York Times has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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