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Mississippi: judges testify that Minor was just being nice without expecting a return

AP reports: A deceased judge and a member of the state Court of Appeals have testified that Gulf Coast attorney Paul Minor secured loans for their political campaigns and never asked for anything in return.

Minor is accused of providing cash, loans and gifts to Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr., former Circuit Judge John Whitfield and former Chancery Judge Wes Teel in exchange for favorable decisions. All four defendants have pleaded innocent to bribery and fraud charges, and Minor has pleaded innocent to an additional count of racketeering.

On Tuesday, the testimony of former Appeals Court Judge James Thomas, who died in July 2004, was read by a defense attorney after U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate advised jurors that Thomas was deceased.

Thomas said Minor secured a $20,000 loan for his 1994 judicial campaign. He testified that he used $9,000 of the money and paid it back. -- AP Wire | 07/26/2005 | Judges testify Minor expected nothing in return for help raising money