JANUARY 25, 2006
More than 70 witnesses have testified in the four-month long corruption trial of former Illinois Governor George Ryan and, for the first time, we will hear Ryan’s version. His attorneys plan to put him on the stand next week.
Prosecutors say that while Ryan served as Illinois secretary of state and governor (1991 to 2003), he and his relatives accepted tens of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for state business contracts.
Ryan is also charged with several tax counts, including lying on personal income tax forms and diverting campaign money to family without paying taxes on it. In fact, an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent testified this week that Ryan failed to report about $80,000 on his federal tax forms. The trial may not be over but a poll, conducted by a chain of Illinois newspapers, reveals that nearly 70% of Illinois residents believe Ryan is guilty of most charges.
Judicial Watch denounced Ryan several years ago for his close relationship with Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro and his trips to the island in an effort to lift the decades-old U.S. Embargo. In fact, in 1999 Ryan became the first sitting governor in 40 years to travel to Cuba. The historic trip opened the way for Illinois-based Archer Daniels Midland, a big contributor to many political campaigns, to become the first company to sell food directly from the United States to Cuba since 1963.
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