PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Monday is the first day of a federal trial against Philadelphia’s District Attorney Seth Williams. The city’s top law official has been charged with 29 counts of corruption and bribery charges.
The judge has said lawyers may not only pick the jury Monday, but they may also have time to present opening arguments.
In court documents filed up to this point, Williams has changed lawyers, unsuccessfully requested the dismissal of charges and has gotten one of the prosecution’s witnesses tossed.
Government officials have established their evidence: nearly 200,000 documents, 3 audio recordings, dozens of witnesses and pages of campaign financial reports and tax returns.
Williams is accused of taking more than $34,000 in illegal gifts, money and trips in exchange for favors using his official title.
At the bench: Judge Paul Diamond, who has set a quick pace for the case and says a speedy trial is in the best interest of the public.
Williams has maintained his innocence and his defense team says they have a number of character witnesses to vouch for him.
A dozen jurors will decide if the evidence is strong enough to convict.