Dimora appeal: Why appeal before trial begins?

3:56 PM, Jan 10, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- In a nutshell, here's why Cuyahoga County corruption defendant Jimmy Dimora is appealing to a higher court, even before his trial gets underway.

And even after the appeal was filed last week, the court held another motion hearing Tuesday in Akron.

Related: Motion hearing in Dimora corruption case

The court document says that the appeal was necessary because "...Dimora has been twice put in jeopardy with simultaneous but separate prosecutions for the same conspiracy and same pattern of conduct over the exact same time period and is in danger of suffering irreparable harm...."

Federal prosecutors indicted Dimora, 56, of Independence, on Sept. 14, 2010, on 34 counts, including bribery and conspiracy.

He was subsequently indicted again in October, 2011 on similar charges.

The first trial is about the original indictment and the second trial, yet to be scheduled, is about the second indictment.

Read Dimora's appeal to Court of Appeals (PDF) 

Regarding the first trial, the document reads "...trial that includes discovery consisting of 44,000 intercepted calls, hundreds of thousands of documents and over 100 identified government witnesses..."

While the jury was being selected last week in the first trial, U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi showed them a list of 119 possible witnesses, saying the list was a combination of defense and government witnesses.

The appeal document also states that the action by the government by having two trials on similar charges "...is placing Mr. Dimora twice in jeopardy (and this ) was intentional and vindictive..."

Expanded trial coverage

The appeal also states that the "government has actually moved to have Mr. Dimora placed in custody because this (appeal) request was being filed by the court."

Dimora's attorneys also say the government is being vindictive by "...making available to the public, in violation of a standing court order a large series of sensationally chosen and arrayed intercepted phone calls knowing that those intercepted conversations would be further sensationalized widely and prominently in the press 'on the eve of the trial'..."

And with two separate trials pending, the first with 34 counts against Dimora and the second with multiple counts against Dimora for similar acts, the appeal noted that during a Nov. pre-trial hearing "...the government acknowledged that they may not even be finished charging Mr. Dimora yet in regards to this conspiracy."


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