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SWINDALL SAYS HIGHER COURT WILL OVERTURN HIS CONVICTION

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Former Rep. Pat Swindall said God will ultimately vindicate him and predicted an appeals court will overturn his conviction of lying to a grand jury about a scheme to launder illegal drug profits.

The 38-year-old Republican sat motionless with his wife Tuesday when a jury ended four days of deliberations by convicting him of all nine counts raised during a four-week trial.Federal guidelines prohibit probation, and Swindall faces a maximum five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. Sentencing was set for Aug. 25.

"I'm going to trust God to ultimately vindicate me," Swindall said. "I know God doesn't make mistakes, but if I have to go to prison, I will.

"I'm very disappointed," he added, "but this process is not over."

Defense attorney Richard Hendrix said he would file an appeal within the prescribed 10 days.

Swindall was charged with lying to a federal grand jury Feb. 2, 1988, about his negotiations for an $850,000 mortgage with an undercover agent and an Atlanta businessman later convicted of drug money laundering.

"The jury has very eloquently spoken today," U.S. Attorney Robert Barr said. "The people of this district will demand that their elected officials adhere to the law. We presented cold, hard facts."