Giuliani associate decides not to testify at criminal trial

An associate of Rudy Giuliani has told a federal judge that he will not testify at his own trial

NEW YORK -- An associate of Rudy Giuliani told a federal judge Wednesday that he will not testify at his own trial on charges alleging he used a Russian financier’s money to make donations to U.S. political candidates.

Lev Parnas made the announcement in Manhattan a day after prosecutors finished presenting evidence against him. He said he did so after consulting with his wife and family.

The Florida businessman and a codefendant, Andrey Kukushkin, have pleaded not guilty to all charges. Kukushkin also announced Wednesday that he will not testify. Shortly afterward, the defense rested.

Judge J. Paul Oetken told jurors to return Thursday for closing arguments in the two-week-old trial. Lawyers and the judge planned to spend Wednesday finalizing how laws will be explained to jurors before they begin deliberations.

After prosecutors finished their case Tuesday, defense lawyers asked the judge to conclude the government had failed to prove the charges. The judge did not immediately rule.