Belfast Telegraph

Wesley Snipes argues for new trial

Wesley Snipes' lawyers have argued for a new trial in Florida over his tax case.

Federal attorneys have asked a central Florida judge to revoke the Blade actor's bond if the actor is granted a new trial.

Wesley did not attend the hearing Monday in a federal court in Ocala.

His attorneys said he deserved a new trial because two jurors have come forward with claims that in 2008, other jurors had decided without hearing any evidence that the star was guilty of wilfully failing to file federal tax returns. They also said prosecutors hid damaging information about a key witness.

Federal prosecutors on Monday said questioning those jurors about their deliberations would violate juror rules and intimidate future juries.

The star of the Blade trilogy faces a three-year prison sentence. He has been free on bond while appealing.

US District Judge William Terrell Hodges didn't say when he would rule.

The judge questioned whether interviewing jurors two years after the trial would violate the "black box" of privacy in which jury deliberations occur. The judge also asked whether a new trial should also include the counts on which Wesley was acquitted, given that the same jurors whom the actor claims were tainted also cleared the actor of some charges.

"What if the other jurors deny the accusations by the two jurors? It's two against three," Hodges said. "The probability is, there isn't going to be unanimity among jurors."

But the prosecutor said questioning jurors two years after a trial would create a chilling effect.

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