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Illness postpones Edwards corruption trial

Former Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards, center,

Former Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards, center, leaves a federal courthouse with attorney Abbe Lowell, to right of Edwards, after a hearing in Greensboro, N.C. Edwards says he has been diagnosed with a medical condition that will make it difficult for him to attend his criminal trial over campaign finances. (Dec. 16, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

DURHAM, N.C. -- A cardiologist for former presidential candidate John Edwards says he has a life-threatening medical condition that will require surgery next month, a federal judge disclosed Friday as she postponed Edwards' campaign corruption trial for at least two months.

Saying that Edwards, 58, suffers from "a serious condition," U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles delayed the trial until at least March 26.

Eagles quoted the cardiologist as saying that Edwards' condition is treatable, with a good chance of recovery.

"Clearly the ends of justice are served by continuance, given the seriousness of his medical condition," Eagles said. The trial had been scheduled to begin Jan. 30.

Edwards is a one-term U.S. senator who ran as a vice-presidential candidate with Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts on the 2004 Democratic ticket and twice ran for president.

He is charged with six felony and misdemeanor counts. Prosecutors say Edwards violated campaign finance laws while attempting to cover up an illicit affair with a campaign videographer who later gave birth to his daughter. He faces up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines if convicted on all counts.

Edwards' wife, Elizabeth Edwards, suffered from terminal cancer at the time. She died in December 2010.

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