24 Jan 2009

Impeachment trial unfair: Illinois governor

1:33 pm on 24 January 2009

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich said on Friday he will not take part in an impeachment trial that could remove him from office.

He is charged with trying to sell the Senate seat formerly held by President Barack Obama. Mr Blagojevich has defied calls for him to resign.

He said the trial scheduled to start on Monday in the state Senate "is a trampling of the Constitution" and he is "not even getting a fair trial."

The two-term governor was impeached on 9 January in the Illinois House of Representatives for wide-ranging abuse of power.

No one in the Senate, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 37 to 22, has expressed support for him.

Legal experts say he would be removed from office if convicted by the Senate.