Wesley Snipes at Directors Guild Of America - Thursday 8th February 2007

* SNIPES' COURT RACISM BID FAILS LATEST: U.S. prosecutors have rejected Wesley Snipes' claims he won't get a fair trial in Florida on tax evasion charges because of racial prejudice. Snipes is due to stand trial in the city of Ocala in Marion County in January (08), on charges he fraudulently claimed tax refunds of almost $12 million (£6 million) in 1996 and 1997. He is also accused of failing to file tax returns from 1999 to 2004. His legal team attempted to get the case moved to New York, alleging Ocala is "a hotbed of (Ku Klux Klan) activity" and that prosecutors chose it so Snipes would face an all-white jury. But the claims have been described as "baseless" by federal prosecutors. U.S. Attorney Robert O'Neill filed a complaint on Tuesday (20Nov07) that reads, "Defendant Snipes' motion hurls scurrilous and baseless accusations at the prosecution and citizenry of Ocala in an overwrought attempt to have this case dismissed or transferred to another venue." (IG/WNWA/MT) Wesley Snipes 15th Annual Pan African Film Festival Opening Night Gala at the Directors Guild Of America Los Angeles, California - 08.02.07 (2 images)

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