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Prosecutor says ‘fairness’ behind decision to lump Trump in mass criminal trial

Former US president Donald Trump (Gerald Herbert/AP)
Former US president Donald Trump (Gerald Herbert/AP) Former US president Donald Trump (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Prosecutors aiming to nab former US president Donald Trump for racketeering in Georgia have argued he should face trial simultaneously as everyone else.

Mr Trump and 18 others stand accused of taking part in an illegal scheme to undermine the vote in the Georgia election and for attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 race to the White House.

Prosecutors are calling for the former Celebrity Apprentice star to join his co-accused citing procedural efficiency for the court and overall fairness.

The case was brought against Mr Trump and 18 others amid suspicion they collectively violated Georgia’s anti-racketeering legislation.

Georgia Election Investigation Republicans
Georgia Election Investigation Republicans Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (John Bazemore, AP)

Mechanisms within the law mean that numerous trials can share the same witnesses and evidence in the state of Georgia, prosecutors wrote in a brief filed on Tuesday.

Prosecutors added that repeating the same trial over and over when all 18 share evidence would give later defendants an advantage over others tried earlier for the same alleged crime.

And, as per US discovery legislation, lawyers can request documentation on the public record relevant to the prosecution’s investigation, which must be handed over to the defence.

Prosecutors revealed that trying them individually would see the entire evidence cache for all cases rendered utterly pointless due to the discovery rule.

Some cases may also run simultaneously thus wasting the court’s time while adding “an enormous strain on the judicial resources”.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she wanted to try all 19 defendants last month to avoid the legal doldrums listed above.

Two of the accused, however, have filed speedy trial demands with the judge to have their cases heard sooner rather than later.

Judge Scott McAfee has set their trial for October 23.

At a hearing last week, his honour added it seemed “a bit unrealistic” to imagine that all 19 defendants could be tried in a matter of weeks and pushed back on lawyers rallying to have them all allotted the same court time in a few weeks.