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Judge refuses to dismiss John Edwards charges

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MICHAEL BIESECKER
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A federal judge has refused to toss out campaign corruption charges against John Edwards, meaning he will have to present his case before a jury.

Lawyers for Edwards argued before US District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles on Friday that prosecutors failed to prove Edwards intentionally violated the law.

After two and a half hours of arguments, the judge ruled from the bench that there was enough evidence to let jurors decide.

Motions to dismiss are routine in criminal trials, but are rarely granted. The decision means Edwards' lawyers will begin calling witnesses Monday.

Edwards has pleaded not guilty to six criminal counts related to campaign finance violations. Prosecutors say he was the mastermind behind a scheme to use nearly $1 million in secret payments from supporters to hide his mistress and their baby.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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