NEW YORK - Jury deliberations began today in the corruption trial of former Yonkers City Councilwoman Sandy Annabi.

Annabi and her co-defendant and political mentor Zehy Jereis are facing a total of 11 counts between them, ranging from conspiracy and bribery to extortion and tax evasion. The jury of nine women and three men are wading through five weeks worth of testimony and evidence.

Annabi is accused of accepting $174,000 in bribe payments from Jereis that were allegedly meant to buy her votes on two local development deals. The defense maintains that Jereis was simply courting his distant cousin because he was in love with her.

Annabi did not testify in the trial, but Jereis took the stand in his own defense. Federal prosecutors said his testimony was riddled with lies, contradictions and false statements. In their rebuttal yesterday, the government said, "The relationship between Jereis and Annabi was a relationship based on her office and not her body."

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Deliberations will continue on Monday.

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