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No new trial for Stanford

In an order handed down on Thursday, US District Judge David Hittner rejected Stanford’s request for a new trial, without giving reasons.

Stanford, who turns 62 on Saturday, was convicted on March 6 on 13 counts of a 14-count criminal indictment, including fraud, conspiracy and obstructing an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He was found not guilty on one count of wire fraud. The charges carry a possible prison sentence of nearly 20 years.

However, Stanford’s lawyers argued that their client had been deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial.

Among the reasons they cited was a lack of time to prepare a defence, extensive prejudicial pretrial publicity, and the potential that messages sent by reporters from the courtroom via Twitter might have reached jurors during the six-week trial.

Stanford is being held at a federal detention centre in Houston and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 14.

The jury also recommended that US authorities should try to seize $330 million of frozen funds that Stanford stashed in 29 foreign bank accounts.

The former head of Antigua and Barbuda’s Financial Services Regulatory Commission, Leroy King, one of four people charged in a separate indictment, is accused of taking bribes to divert regulatory attention from Stanford’s operations, and is fighting extradition from Antigua.

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