Closing arguments continue in Fumo trial

    The corruption trial for former state Senator Vince Fumo is expected to continue Tuesday with closing arguments by Fumo’s defense lawyer. The government charges the Democratic power broker with defrauding the State Senate, the Independence Seaport Museum and a non-profit of $3.5 million dollars. But a key element of the case against Fumo includes obstruction of justice charges.

    The corruption trial for former state Senator Vince Fumo is expected to continue Tuesday with closing arguments by Fumo’s defense lawyer. The government charges the Democratic power broker with defrauding the State Senate, the Independence Seaport Museum and a non-profit of $3.5 million dollars. But a key element of the case against Fumo includes obstruction of justice charges. WHYY’s Susan Phillips reports.

    Script:
    Prosecutors say once Fumo learned of the investigation, he began purging his emails and computer files. Fumo says his attorneys told him if he did not receive a subpoena, he could destroy emails. But Fumo’s former attorney Richard Sprague told the jury he would never give such advice. The defense then presented as evidence a note from a meeting between Fumo and Sprague, suggesting that Sprague did in fact believe that without a subpoena, Fumo was free to delete emails.

    Edward Ohlbaum is a law professor at Temple University.

    Ohlbaum: “So there’s certainly a huge huge conflict between what the defense says the note meant and what the note must have obviously meant according to the defense and the prosecution evidence of what Richard Sprague says, never would have, never could have said any of those things.”

    The defense will wrap up its case this week, followed by a rebuttal from the prosecution.

    Listen:
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    [audio: reports20090302trial.mp3]

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