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Bruno Trial Begins

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A jury of seven women and five men have been chosen in the federal corruption trial of Joe Bruno. Karen DeWitt reports on opening statements in the former senate majority leader's case.

REPORTER: Assistant US Attorney Elizabeth Coombe said during the course of the trial federal prosecutors will prove that Bruno “exploited his position” as one of the “three most powerful men in New York State”, for “personal gain”.

The eight count indictment charges the former Senate Leader with receiving over $3 million in payments that the prosecutor says she’ll prove were obtained as part of scheme to deprive the public of the honest services the Senator is expected to give them.

Bruno’s chief defense attorney, Abbe Lowell, told the jury that “prosecutors made a mistake”, and that Bruno, when he was Senator, was a “hard working, honest public servant”, who went out of his way to consult with his lawyers to prevent even an appearance of any conflict of interest in his business dealings. In Albany, I'm Karen DeWitt.

REPORTER: The first witnesses in the Bruno trial are scheduled to testify today.

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