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Former Alabama governor released from prison pending appeal of fraud conviction

[JURIST] Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman (D) [official profile; JURIST news archive] was released from federal prison Friday after a federal appeals court ruled that he was not a flight risk while his appeal of his fraud and bribery conviction is pending. The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] made the ruling Thursday, which coincided with a request from the House Judiciary Committee [official website] to have Siegelman provide testimony about the committee's investigation into whether politics played a role in alleged selective prosecutions [JURIST news archive] by the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website]. Siegelman's testimony is scheduled for May, according to a spokesperson for the committee.

Siegelman and former HealthSouth [corporate website] CEO Richard Scrushy [JURIST news archive] were convicted [DOJ press release, JURIST report] of federal bribery and fraud charges in June 2006. Siegelman was convicted on 10 counts, including bribery, conspiracy, and mail fraud. Scrushy was found guilty of fraud and both were also convicted in connection with a $500,000 payment from Scrushy for Siegelman's 1999 campaign debts in exchange for a seat on a state-operated review board that regulates hospitals. Siegelman and Scrushy were sentenced [JURIST report] to 88 and 82 months respectively. AP has more.

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