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Texas appeals court upholds dismissal of DeLay conspiracy charge

[JURIST] The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals [official website] Wednesday ruled 5-4 against reinstating a conspiracy charge [opinion, text; other opinions and filings] against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay [official profile; JURIST news archive] and two of his former associates. The holding affirmed a lower court decision that the charge of conspiring to violate the state's election code [text] could not be applied to the code as it was written before 2003. The charge was initially dismissed [JURIST report] by the trial court in December 2005. That action was upheld [JURIST report] by the Texas Third Court of Appeals [official website] in April of last year. DeLay still faces charges of money laundering [JURIST document] and conspiring to launder money.

DeLay and two other Republicans are accused of transferring $190,000 in corporate money directly to the Republican National Committee, which then donated the same amount to local Texas campaigns. DeLay and the other suspects have denied raising or spending money illegally. After he was indicted [JURIST report], DeLay stepped down as House majority leader and later resigned from Congress [JURIST reports]. DeLay withdrew his name from the November ballot [JURIST report] after several courts ruled that the Texas Republican Party could not name a new candidate to run in his place. AP has more.

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