Attorney for DeLay says indictment based on statutes not on the

AUSTIN (AP) - The attorney for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay predicts money laundering charges against his client will eventually be dismissed.

Defense attorney Dick DeGuerin says that's because the indictment is based on statutes that weren't in place when the alleged conduct happened.

DeGuerin tells the Houston Chronicle DeLay can't be convicted because a 3rd Court of Appeals' opinion on Friday said the law applied to cash, not checks, when the alleged laundering of corporate campaign donations occurred.

In Friday's lengthy opinion, the appeals court said that checks weren't covered by the money laundering statute prior to 2005.

That's when the Legislature defined "funds" to include checks, money orders, and electronic funds.

The appeals court declined to dismiss indictments against two of DeLay's political operatives.

Travis County D.A. Ronnie Earle says it's too early to suggest DeLay will be cleared by the court's ruling.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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