PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Philadelphia’s embattled district attorney is once again back before a judge.
Seth Williams had only hellos and well wishes for our cameras. CBS 3 was the only TV station outside the federal courthouse.
Williams was present for another arraignment hearing on a new set of fraud and bribery charges a grand jury handed up in an indictment earlier this week.
Williams’ attorney, Thomas Burke, called the allegations an overreach by the government, as well as “laughable.”
Williams again pleaded not guilty. His trial has been pushed back until mid-June.
But federal prosecutors claim Williams used thousands from a political action committee for his own personal use. This is on top of previous allegations made in a March indictment that claim Williams received electronic devices, luxury vacations, furniture and cash in exchange for official action and other favors.
His attorney strongly challenged the government’s evidence, calling the prosecution a “witch hunt.”
Asked to respond, federal prosecutors said there was nothing unusual in how the new charges were brought.
A new twist on the front of federal corruption in Philadelphia. A key player named in Williams’ federal indictment pleaded guilty in court late Thursday afternoon.
Mohammad N. Ali is accused of showering Williams with gifts, cash, vacations and furniture in exchange for running interference with airport security and attempting to intervene in a court proceeding.
Sentencing guidelines call for a maximum of eight years imprisonment.
Ali is expected to cooperate with prosecutors and eventually testify against Williams. Both men are free on $50,000 bail.