John Edwards denies election finance fraud

Opening statements began yesterday in the trial of the former Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, who is accused of violating federal campaign finance laws and using the money to hide an affair from the public and his wife, who was fighting cancer.

Mr Edwards went from being a serious contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 to being widely disliked for hiding his pregnant mistress.

The former senator, 58, denies six charges related to nearly $1m in secret payments. Mr Edwards' lawyers contend the payments were gifts from friends intent on keeping his wife from finding out about the affair.

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