BOSTON (AP) – Defense lawyers for former Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi and two associates are set to begin calling witnesses in their public corruption trial.

Prosecutors allege that DiMasi, Richard McDonough and Richard Vitale schemed to use the speaker’s clout to steer state contracts to the software firm Cognos in exchange for kickbacks.

After calling more than two dozen witnesses over the past three weeks, prosecutors rested their case Thursday. Witnesses included Gov. Deval Patrick and former members of his administration who testified that DiMasi pushed for approval of a contract for Cognos.

The defense says prosecutors have not shown that DiMasi, Vitale and McDonough conspired so that payments would be made to them in exchange for DiMasi’s official acts on behalf of Cognos.

The defense is scheduled to begin presenting its case Monday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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