Judge wants speedy trial for Philadelphia's top prosecutor

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 11, 2017 5:54 PM

Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

(Philadelphia) -- A federal judge wants Philadelphia's indicted top prosecutor to go on trial by next month because of what he calls "the public's right" to a speedy trial.

U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond on Tuesday has rejected a routine bid by prosecutors to designate District Attorney Seth Williams' bribery and extortion case complex and give them more time to prepare.

He has tentatively ordered Williams to face trial May 31. But he says Williams can seek a delay once he sees the government's witness list.

An indictment last month accuses the two-term Democrat of accepting more than $100,000 in gifts in exchange for official favors. His lawyers deny that Williams sold his office.

Diamond says the trial is especially urgent because Williams remains in office even after surrendering his law license.

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