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Ex-governor guilty of lying

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CHICAGO – A federal jury found former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich guilty yesterday of one count of lying to federal agents, and the judge said he intends to declare a mistrial on the remaining 23 counts.Rod Blagojevich showed no emotion as the verdict was read, neither smiling nor grimacing.Prosecutors said immediately that they intended to retry the case against Blagojevich and his co-defendant brother, Robert Blagojevich, as soon as possible. The charges had included the accusation that they had tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat.Judge James B. Zagel set a hearing for August 26 to decide the manner and timing of their retrial.The verdict came on the 14th day of deliberations. The count on which Blagojevich was found guilty included accusations that he lied to federal agents when he said he did not track campaign contributions and kept a “firewall” between political campaigns and government work. It carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.Before jurors came in, a sombre-looking Blagojevich sat with his hands folded, looking down, picking nervously at his fingernails. After the verdict was read, defence attorney Sam Adam Jr. rubbed his own forehead and mouth, appearing to shake his head in disgust.The former governor’s wife Patti Blagojevich showed more emotion throughout. Right after the verdict was read, she leaned over in her chair, shaking her head. (AP)