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Defense Rests In R. Allen Stanford Trial

Defense attorneys have rested their case in the fraud trial of R. Allen Stanford. Despite much speculation, the Houston financier did not take the stand. From the federal courthouse, Andrew Schneider reports.

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The defense finished questioning its final expert witness early Monday afternoon. Following a lunch break, attorney Robert Scardino asked Judge David Hittner if the defense team could have till the end of the day to talk with Stanford on whether or not he should testify. The judge said no, but he gave Stanford’s lawyers a few minutes to talk with their client. When they returned, Scardino said, “The defense rests.”

Scardino told the jury in his opening statement that Stanford would testify. Thereafter, any hint by witnesses or government attorneys that Stanford would take the stand met with fierce objections by the defense, saying such remarks violated Stanford’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Judge Hittner responded to each by reminding the jury the burden of proof was entirely on the government.

The judge will spend tomorrow’s meeting with government and defense attorneys in private session to work out his final instructions to the jury. The two sides will present their closing arguments Wednesday morning.