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Page last updated at 23:11 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 00:11 UK

US prosecutors indict Blagojevich

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich at his home in Chicago (29/01/2009)
The former Illinois governor has denied any wrongdoing

Prosecutors in the US have indicted former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges.

Mr Blagojevich faces a series of allegations, including attempting to "sell" President Barack Obama's vacant seat in the US Senate.

He was arrested late last year and removed from office in January for abusing his powers.

The former governor denies any wrongdoing. He is currently on holiday with his family in Florida.

Mr Blagojevich faces charges including racketeering, conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements to investigators.

The 52-year-old Democrat had engaged in a "wide-ranging scheme to deprive the people of Illinois of honest government", prosecutors said.

His brother, two former aides and two businessmen were also indicted by the federal grand jury.

Mr Blagojevich was arrested on 9 December and accused of trying to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official actions.

Investigators say he tried to use state funds to persuade the Tribune Company to fire Chicago Tribune editorial board members critical of him.

They also accuse him of trying to sell Mr Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Illinois senators voted 59-0 to remove him from power in January.



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