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Navajo council speaker’s attorneys seek solo trial

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Attorneys for the Navajo Nation’s legislative leader
say combining the criminal trials of five people facing bribery charges would
confuse jurors.

The comments came Thursday in a response to a request by prosecutors to
consolidate a handful of trials in Window Rock District Court. Prosecutors say
doing so would save tens of thousands of dollars in court expenses, jury fees
and prosecution.

Attorneys for Navajo Nation Council Speaker Johnny Naize disagree. They say the
complex issues and variety of defenses would create more challenges.

Judge Carol Perry has not ruled on the request.

The prosecutors are seeking to join the trials for Naize, a fellow lawmaker and
three former Tribal Council delegates. The bribery charges stem from an
investigation into the use of tribal discretionary funds.


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