YONKERS - Could the convictions of former Yonkers city councilwoman Sandy Annabi be overturned or reversed on appeal?
Lawyers for Annabi and co-defendant Zehy Jereis are mounting a legal challenge in the federal case that found the two guilty of all charges, including conspiracy, extortion, bribery and corruption. The lawyers are asking Judge Colleen McMahon to throw out the convictions.
Pace University law school professor Audrey Rogers says such a request is not unusual, but getting a conviction overturned is rare. The professor says that should the judge deny the request, the attorneys will take the case to the court of appeals claiming that the government did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Rogers says a successful appeal in such an instance is highly unlikely.
"In a case of conspiracy, you're usually not going to have open evidence of the conspiracy because it's something you want to hide," Rogers says. "So here they had to build their case based on circumstantial evidence, which they did."
The judge in the case has said she will not make any decisions on whether the conviction should be upheld or overturned until both sides submit written motions by May 4.
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