Rezko Locked Up Until Trial Starts Feb. 25
Accused political fixer Tony Rezko was arrested for a bond violation.
Jan. 29, 2008— -- Accused Illinois political fixer Antoin "Tony" Rezko will be kept behind bars until his trial starts Feb. 25, a federal judge in Chicago ruled today.
Rezko's case has gained national prominence because of his close ties with Sen. Barack Obama and his role in helping to raise campaign money for the candidate. Obama is not considered a subject of the FBI investigation.
Rezko was arrested Monday after FBI agents learned Rezko had secretly received more than $3.5 million in a wire transfer from Beirut, Lebanon, a violation of his bail terms, according to prosecutors who said Rezko may have been preparing to flee the country prior to the trial.
The money to Rezko came from an Iraqi businessman, Nadhmi Auchi, who was convicted on French fraud charges and investigated in the oil-for-food scandal, though no charges were ever brought against him and he has denied wrongdoing.
According to an FBI affidavit filed in the case, Rezko sought to get a visa for Auchi to visit the United States by contacting "certain Illinois government officials."
A spokesman for Sen. Obama, Bill Burton, told ABCNews.com that Obama had not taken any action on behalf of Auchi.
A Middle East Web site shows a photograph of what it described as Auchi visiting Illinois government officials in April 2004, with a man who resembles Rezko on the right of the photo. Some of our readers have said that man is not Rezko.