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May 3, 2012

Yonkers trial update: Annabi aims to set aside verdict

Atlantic Yards Report

Former Yonkers Council Member Sandy Annabi, whose flipped vote on Forest City Ratner's Ridge Hill development led in part to her indictment and then conviction on federal corruption charges, is looking to see that set aside. The Journal News reported yesterday, in Sandy Annabi seeks new trial, new attorney tells The Journal News:

Attorney Edward Sapone said today that he is preparing two post-conviction motions on the grounds that “no rational juror could have found guilt beyond a reasonable doubt as to any of the counts of which Miss Annabi was convicted.”

Sapone noted that during the trial U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon herself expressed skepticism – without jurors present – over the government’s case against Annabi and former Yonkers Republican Chairman Zehy Jereis, who was also convicted after the five-week trial.

McMahon questioned whether prosecutors would be able to prove a key element of the case – that money Jereis spent on Annabi influenced how she voted on the city council.

Post-trial motions must be filed by June 18, and sentencing is scheduled for September 20. However, not only can McMahon be asked to vacate the verdict, an appeal can be filed.


Related coverage...

The Journal News, New Annabi lawyer seeks retrial in corruption case

Federal prosecutors argued at the trial that, although it was a circumstantial case, they had ample evidence of a conspiracy. In the end, the jury convicted Annabi and Jereis, her cousin and political mentor, on all counts on March 29.

Posted by eric at May 3, 2012 11:43 AM