- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 2, 2009

Prosecutors in the corruption trial of former Rep. William Jefferson began playing recorded conversations involving the Louisiana Democrat that authorities say will show he accepted bribes.

The recordings were made during phone conversations and dinner meetings involving Mr. Jefferson and Lori Mody, a Northern Virginia businesswoman who was cooperating with the FBI.

Mr. Jefferson faces charges that he accepted bribes to help a telecommunications businesses win contracts in several Western African nations.

Ms. Mody was one of the business people involved but went to the FBI after becoming concerned about the way in which the deals were being conducted. She wore a wire as part of her cooperation. Prosecutors say she gave Mr. Jefferson a $100,000 bribe, most of which the FBI said it later found in Mr. Jefferson’s freezer.

While Ms. Mody is a key figure in the case, prosecutors do not plan to call her to testify. Prosecutors have not said why that is, though the defense has questioned Ms. Mody’s emotional state.

Without Ms. Mody’s testimony, prosecutors have had to use the testimony of an FBI agent to introduce the recordings into evidence.

Prosecutors said Thursday that it will likely take until Tuesday to put all the recordings into evidence and play them for the jury.

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