Former Illinois Governor Blago guilty of lying to FBI

The jury deliberated 14 days to come to a decision after an 11-week trial and had requested transcripts of witnesses a few days ago. Blagojevich was accused of selling the senate seat of then president-elect Barack Obama in exchange for a USD 6 million fundraising offer from Indian-American businessman Raghu Nayak.

US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said the prosecutors were already preparing for a new trial. "The government threw everything but the kitchen sink at me, and on every charge but one, they could not prove that I broke any laws except one, a nebulous charge from five years ago," the Tribune quoted Blagojevich telling reporters at the Dirksen Federal Building this afternoon.

"I did not lie to the FBI. I told the truth from the very beginning," Blagojevich added. Nayak emerged as a key figure at the trial. Nayak, a major fundraiser, offered Blagojevich USD 6 million in exchange for appointing Jesse Jackson Jr in the senate seat.

Another prominent businessman Rajinder Bedi was also involved with Nayak in fundraising and in supporting Jackson for the senate seat with Rod's older brother Robert Blagojevich. However, both Nayak and Bedi were not charged.

Blagojevich faces up to five years in prison on the one count he was convicted of: making false statements to the FBI, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. It is the fourth time since 1973 -- and the second time in just four years -- that a one time Illinois governor has been convicted of wrongdoing. Earlier, former Governor George Ryan was convicted was convicted of racketeering for actions as governor.

Jurors are also deadlocked on all four counts against Robert. Judge James B Zagel declared a mistrial on deadlocked counts and gave the prosecution until Aug 26 to formally announce plans to retry Blagojevich and his brother.

Blagojevich has vowed to appeal the guilty verdict and said he is confident that he will be vindicated. The former governor has professed his innocence many times before the media on Twitter, Larry King Live and Celebrity Apprentice.

Although Blagojevich had continuously vowed to testify at his trial, he did not. His lawyers advised him against saying that the government had not proven their case against him.

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