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Shurtleff, Swallow case heard in court

Posted at 6:30 PM, Oct 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-20 20:52:58-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Over the course of five minutes of court time, the attorney for former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff objected to the prosecution's words three times and presented an argument against the method and substance of the case against his client.

And it was all in a hearing meant to check calendars to schedule other hearings.

"They refuse to inform us of what facts support each of those elements [of the charges against Shurtleff]," said Richard Van Wagoner.

Neither Shurtleff nor his successor in office and co-defendant John Swallow were present at the hearing meant to schedule motions and a preliminary hearing in the political corruption case.

Each former Attorney General faces multiple felony counts including bribery, accepting illegal gifts and witness tampering.

The defendants have both filed motions to separate their cases.

"There's no way under the statute we've cited to the court that they can be charged together, no way they can be tried together, and I object to calling the cases together because they can't be," Van Wagoner said.

Stephen McCaughey, attorney for John Swallow, was present at the hearing but did not participate except to approve of the scheduling of a motion hearing on Nov. 7.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill told FOX 13 the defense’s complaints don't concern him.  He said they are asking for evidence that the prosecution only needs to supply after a preliminary hearing.

"This is a complex case. This is the first case of political corruption in the history of Utah," Gill said.