Witness testimony begins in Annabi corruption trial

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NEW YORK - Witness testimony began today in the federal corruption trial of former Yonkers Councilwoman Sandy Annabi at Federal Court in Lower Manhattan.

Prosecutors called witnesses they hope will strengthen their case against Annabi by detailing an alleged history of gifts from her political mentor Zehy Jereis.

A jeweler called by prosecutors testified that Annabi used a credit card to buy an 18-karat white gold diamond cross necklace for more than $3,000 in August of 2006 and said her signature was on the receipt.

The jeweler says it's customary to keep all names on receipts and that they are filed sequentially.

Annabi's lawyer fired back at the witness and claimed the jeweler's recollection of the events was at odds with previous grand jury testimony.

Jereis is accused of buying off Annabi with $167,000 in bribes to change her votes on two controversial construction developments in Yonkers, including the Ridge Hill development in 2005.

The trial is expected to last three to five weeks.

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