Illinois Gov Blagojevich to appear at impeachment trial today | world | Hindustan Times
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Illinois Gov Blagojevich to appear at impeachment trial today

world Updated: Jan 29, 2009 11:23 IST
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Embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is likely to appear on Thursday at his impeachment trial, which he has been boycotting for the last three days.

While the governor is expected to speak in his defence, he would not testify or take questions from senators.

"The governor wishes to file an appearance to give a closing argument, not to testify or submit himself to cross-examination," state Senate president John Cullerton said on Wednesday.

Blagojevich's impeachment trial began in the Illinois state Senate in Springfield on January 26, in the absence of the defiant defendant, who was in New York appearing on a series of television interviews crying foul and proclaiming his innocence.

He had said he would not attend the trial going on in the Illinois capital as it was unfair and did not allow him to call witnesses. Blagojevich is facing charges of corruption and malpractices, including that he tried to auction the senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

The senators are expected to vote on Thursday on whether to throw the governor out of office.

Under the rules of the trial, Blagojevich would first have to ask for permission to be allowed to speak, a motion which the senate is expected to approve.

"I have been informed the governor would like to come here tomorrow and ask leave of us to file an appearance. We would have to give him permission to do that. I would urge us to give him that leave, so he can argue as his own attorney," Cullerton told the Senate.

Blagojevich would get 90 minutes to fight his case and argue that he should not be convicted. House prosecutor David Ellis would get an hour to argue for the governor to be removed.

On day two of the impeachment trial, prosecutors played four FBI tapes in the state senate. The secretly taped conversations revealed how the governor had pressured a racetrack owner for campaign contributions.

Blagojevich continued to appear on TV shows till on Wednesday, giving interviews to CBS, CNN, Fox and The Associated Press. Blagojevich appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, The View and CNN's Larry King Live.