Bribe scheme key in Jefferson corruption trial

July 31st, 2009

Willingness to participate is at issue

Washington Times

One of the key corruption charges against former Rep. William J. Jefferson may turn largely on the actual reason that nearly $100,000 ended up in his freezer.

Prosecutors say the cash is evidence of a bribe the Louisiana Democrat planned to pay to the then-vice president of Nigeria to help secure a telecommunications contract. Defense attorneys say the nine-term congressman never intended to bribe Vice President Atiku Abubakar and simply took the money to placate an overaggressive FBI informant.

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