Virginia ex-governor to testify again in corruption trial

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 25, 2014 11:33 AM

RICHMOND Va. (Reuters) - Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is set to be back on the witness stand on Monday in his federal corruption trial, now in its fifth week.

McDonnell, 60, has testified at U.S. District Court since Wednesday. He has denied he gave any favors to a dietary supplement entrepreneur who is alleged to have given him and his wife Maureen $177,000 in gifts and loans.

McDonnell, a Republican, is expected to testify in his own defense on Monday followed by cross-examination by prosecutors.

He told jurors last week about his strained marriage, a key part of the defense strategy. Lawyers for the couple contend that they could not have conspired since they were barely on speaking terms.

The McDonnells face a 14-count indictment for allegedly taking the gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams Sr. in exchange for promoting his company, Star Scientific Inc, and its dietary supplement product Anatabloc.

McDonnell testified on Friday that he saw nothing inappropriate about accepting loans from Williams to help pay the bills on beach properties.

Williams testified for the prosecution that he wooed the McDonnells to gain influence as he sought state-sponsored research for Anatabloc.

If they are convicted on all charges, the couple could be sentenced to 20 years in prison.

McDonnell's four-year term as governor ended in January. He was not eligible for re-election under Virginia’s one-term rule.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)