Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Untranslated Tapes Could Stall Malcolm Smith Corruption Trial

Friday, Jun 13, 2014  |  Updated 9:47 AM EDT
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The corruption trial of state Sen. Malcolm Smith and two others may be stalled due to 300 untranslated Yiddish recordings.

The New York Times says federal prosecutors didn't' turn over the recordings to defense lawyers until the trial was well underway.

They were made or received by Moses Stern, a Rockland County developer turned government informer.

Defense lawyers argued Thursday the recordings could bolster defendants' claims they were entrapped by Stern and an undercover agent.

The judge postponed his decision until Friday to give prosecutors time to show how the recordings could be translated quickly so the trial could proceed with the same jury.

The defendants are accused of scheming to bribe Republican party leaders so Smith, a Democrat, could run for the GOP line in last year's mayoral race.

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