YONKERS - The lawyer defending state Sen. Malcolm Smith in the “Corridor of Corruption” trial is hoping that the judge declares a mistrial in the case.
As News 12 has reported, Smith is accused of trying to bribe Republican officials to get permission to run on the GOP mayoral ticket for New York.
The defense has only recently been given access to more than 90 hours of recorded phone calls held by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Complicating the issue is that 28 hours of those conversations are in Yiddish.
Defense attorneys say that they could have formulated a different strategy for the trial based on what they’ve heard so far. They say virtually all of the material involves third-party conversations with the controversial developer Moses Stern, who cooperated with the FBI to get leniency for a federal fraud conviction.
Smith's attorney, Gerald Shargel, says that he wants a mistrial declared. Shargel told the court that it could take weeks to review the material and work the information into a coherent defense.
Lawyers for Smith's co-defendants, former New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran and former Queens Republican Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone, want the charges dismissed. They claim prosecutors have made it impossible to have a fair trial by withholding the recordings.
The judge gave lawyers until Monday to convince him the charges should be dismissed.
The jury won't return to court until Tuesday, but by then the judge may have already declared a mistrial.