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Former U.S. House Majority leader convicted of money laundering

11-25-2010 14:13 BJT

HOUSTON, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was convicted of felony charges of political money laundering in a Texas court on Wednesday.

After almost 19 hours of deliberations, a Texas jury returned guilty verdicts against DeLay, who was once one of the most powerful Republicans in the House of Representatives, on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces two to 20 years in prison on a conspiracy charge and up to 99 years or life in prison on the a money laundering charge, according to local media reports.

DeLay's defense lawyer, Dick DeGuerin called the verdict "a terrible miscarriage of justice." DeLay said the case was politically motivated and that "I still maintain that I am innocent."

DeLay's sentencing was tentatively set for Dec. 20.

The case was brought in 2005 by then-District Attorney Ronnie Earle. Prosecutors accused DeLay and his two political aides of illegally channeling 190,000 U.S. dollars in corporate donations into the legislative races in 2002 through a money swap.

The funds went to seven Texas House candidates. Texas law bars the use of corporate donations to finance political campaigns.

DeLay resigned from Congress in 2006.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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