Blago lawyers, prosecutors take final steps -

Blago lawyers, prosecutors take final steps

CHICAGO (AP) -- Prosecutors and defense attorneys are discussing instructions jurors will get when they start deliberations next week in the corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel is overseeing the talks, which started just after noon Friday and were likely to last much of the day.

The draft instructions for the government alone are 123 pages.

Blagojevich wasn't required to be in court. At one point, a clerk called Blagojevich at home so the judge could ask if he had authorized another lawyer to sit in on discussions on his behalf. Blagojevich responded "Yes, your honor" in the call played over courtroom speakers.

The former governor and his brother have pleaded not guilty to scheming to sell an appointment to President Barack Obama's old Senate seat. Closing arguments begin Monday.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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