Sunday, March 16, 2008
Closing arguments are set for today in the federal trial of Cyril Wecht. Jonathan D. Silver and Paula Reed Ward at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have provided some wonderful coverage of the trial (see here). This federal corruption case has lasted 7 weeks, had hundreds of exhibits, and the government presented 44 witnesses. The defense rested without presenting anything, which is not surprising considering the nature of this case.
The case is a relatively simple one. The government charges corruption with expansive statutes like wire fraud and honest services fraud under section 1346. They take each fax and make it into separate counts, even when the faxes were sent the same day. The Indictment makes one wonder what a case like this is doing in federal court, except for the fact that the accused is charged with activities while in his role as a county coroner.
The Indictment is here - Download wecht_redacted_indictment.pdf