Judge postpones Rudy Giuliani associates' trial because of backlog from Covid-19
Posted November 30, 2020 3:48 p.m. EST
CNN — A federal judge postponed the trial for Rudy Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman citing the backlog of criminal trials as courts grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
"We're almost certainly not going to get on the calendar for March 1 given the number of detained defendant trials, which take priority," said Judge Paul Oetken during a remote hearing Monday. He said there are "dozens and dozens of trials" that have been requested for the first quarter of next year.
"Hopefully a vaccine is around the corner," Oetken added.
At the hearing Parnas, Fruman and co-defendant Andrei Kukushkin also entered pleas of not guilty to the superseding indictment.
The men have been accused of campaign finance crimes, including a foreign donor scheme. David Correia, who had also been charged in the alleged scheme, previously pleaded guilty. He is not cooperating with prosecutors.
Oetken ordered prosecutors and lawyers for the defendants to confer as to whether June, July, September or October would work for a new trial date. The trial had already been postponed and was set for March 1.