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Former Illinois governor guilty of lying

world Updated: Aug 18, 2010 09:45 IST
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A federal jury in Chicago on Tuesday found ousted Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich guilty of making false statements to FBI agents but was unable to reach a verdict on 23 other counts, according to media reports.

Prosecutors accused Blagojevich of trying to sell or trade the appointment of a successor to fill the US Senate seat vacated by the election of then-senator Barack Obama to the US presidency. The allegations were based on FBI wiretaps starting in a previous investigation.

He was accused of trying to profit from his elected office, and faced charges including racketeering, extortion, bribery and conspiracy.

Illinois law gives the governor the power to make appointments to fill vacancies in the state's two Senate seats.

Blagojevich was arrested within weeks of Obama's November 2008 election after being recorded in a profanity-laced conversation describing the Senate vacancy as a "golden" asset for which he was seeking political or financial returns. The case went to trial earlier this year.

The 12-person jury spent 14 days deliberating the case.

The jury was unable to decide all four counts against Blagojevich's co-defendant and brother, Robert Blagojevich.