WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The federal judge at the corruption trial of three New York politicians says he’ll talk to jurors before deciding whether to declare a mistrial.
They’re accused of participating in a scheme to bribe Republican Party leaders so Smith, a Democrat, could run for the GOP line in last year’s New York City mayoral race.
Karas is hoping to avoid a mistrial by granting a delay, allowing defense attorneys to review more than 70 hours of newly disclosed recordings, many of them in Yiddish.
The government added 27 Yiddish translators to work around the clock on the tapes, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported. Defense attorney Gerald Shargel, however, said he doesn’t trust the tapes were accurately translated.
Tabone’s attorney, Vinoo Varghese, told 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa: “We’re working with the other lawyers to try to get this done. I don’t speak Yiddish, but I’m learning quite a bit of it over the last week or so.”
Karas said that if enough jurors agree to serve through the delay — another two weeks — the White Plains trial can go on. The judge plans to talk to jurors Tuesday morning.
Shargel told Papa that such a delay could be “dicey” for the trial.
Smith allegedly paid off Halloran and top Republican Party bosses, believing running on the GOP line would help his chances at winning City Hall. He needed three of the five county leaders to sign off.
Prosecutors said more than $100,000 changed hands.
Smith is described by federal prosecutors as a prime example of the kind of corruption that pervades Albany. He’s running for re-election despite his legal troubles.
Halloran and Tabone, who was vice chairman of the Queens Republican Party, are co-defendants in the trial. Halloran allegedly “quarterbacked” the scheme for Smith.
Shargel says the senator is a victim of entrapment.
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