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9 Dec, 2008 20:52

Did governor try to sell Obama’s Senate seat?

A US state governor has been arrested on charges that he tried to sell the position left vacant by president-elect Barack Obama. Investigators say they have evidence suggesting Rod Blagojevich tried to make money by using his position to appoint Obama's r

The governor has since been released on bail.

A 76-page FBI affidavit said the 51-year-old Democratic governor was rumbled by court-authorised wire-taps. The document says Blagojevich also sought benefits for his wife Patti and talked about getting her placed on corporate boards.

Blagojevich did not have much to say to the media about the allegations.

“If anybody wants to tape my conversations, go right ahead, feel free to do it, I appreciate anybody who wants to tape me openly and notoriously,” he commented.

US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald called the governor’s behaviour ‘appalling’ and ‘cynical’. Speaking to the media, he quoted Blagojevich as saying “It's a bleeping valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing” and “I've got this thing and it's bleeping golden”.

Obama has sad he is ‘saddened’ by the incident and that he had no contact with the governor or his office on the matter. The president-elect also refused to comment further on the case as the investigation continues.

Federal prosecutors have investigated Blagojevich's administration for at least three years. The governor has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.