Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, who has spent the past nine months behind bars, is being released from prison day after a court ruled there were substantial questions about his conviction in a government corruption case, the Birmingham News reports. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit granted Siegelman’s request to be released on bond while he appeals his case. The court refused to release Siegelman’s co-defendant, HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy.
“It’s a big win in a very long war. It’s a good feeling,” said Siegelman’s attorney, Vince Kilborn. “It’s nice to win this one, but we’ve got to keep an eye on the ball and keep working toward reversal.” The ruling was issued on the same day the U.S. House Judiciary Committee said it wanted Siegelman to testify before Congress about the possible role of politics in his prosecution. A federal jury in 2006 convicted Siegelman and Scrushy of federal funds bribery, conspiracy, and honest services mail fraud. Siegelman, 62, also was convicted on an obstruction of justice charge that he tried to hide $9,200 he received from a lobbyist by claiming the money was an aide’s down payment for his motorcycle. Siegelman has maintained that Republicans out to derail his political career were behind his prosecution.