PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Less than a month before embattled District Attorney Seth Williams will face a jury, his defense team has filed several motions to dismiss most of the charges against him.
Williams was indicted on corruption and bribery charges two months ago. Now, his defense team has asked a federal judge to drop 22 of the 29 charges, citing a lack of evidence in the case.
In motions filed late last week, defense attorney Tom Burke says Williams did not commit the crimes he’s accused of, because he was never acting in an official capacity.
The government’s indictment is based on three alleged schemes, one of which involved a top Philadelphia police officer.
The government says Williams tried to use the police official to get a friend through airport screenings in exchange for money, trips and gifts.
But the defense argues that in the grand jury testimony, the officer stated Williams was asking why the business owner had to go through secondary screenings.
Williams is also accused of taking money — intended for his ill mother’s care — to pay for an extravagant lifestyle.
In court documents, Burke argues that since the man who signed one of the checks cannot testify, but his wife can, her testimony would be hearsay evidence and should not be allowed at trial.
The defense has also asked the judge to ban testimony from a handful of others, including former district attorney Lynne Abraham.
On the other side, prosecutors filed a motion to allow testimony from a 2008-2009 trial involving William’s campaign.
The trial is set to begin June 19.