Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is playing for time in hopes a key witness will die or become forgetful, federal prosecutors suggested Friday in a letter urging the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to let his expected retrial on corruption charges go forward right away.
The 2nd Circuit reversed Silver’s 2015 conviction this month due to erroneous jury instructions. He wants a delay while he asks the Supreme Court to end the case for lack of evidence, instead of having a retrial. Prosecutors cited the age of Dr. Robert Taub, a government witness.
“Silver’s apparent desire for further delay surely is motivated by his recognition that, as time passes, necessary witnesses and other evidence may be lost,” prosecutors said. “Indeed, one of the central witnesses in Silver’s trial is over 80 years old.”
At trial, Taub, a mesothelioma researcher, testified about an arrangement in which he referred cancer patients to Silver’s law firm, and Silver steered $500,000 in legislative grants to…
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