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Attorney General Kane does not testify as defense rests in trial

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. -- Closing arguments in the perjury trial against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane will begin Monday morning after she declined to testify Friday and her defense team chose not to call any witnesses.

Kane was summoned to the witness stand by Montgomery County Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy when her defense lawyer, Gerald Shargel, rested the defense's case without asking anyone to testify.

"I sat here and listened to the Commonwealth's case, and I don't believe it's necessary for me to testify," Kane told the judge. "I agree with my counsel that the defense should rest."

Kane is charged with perjury, obstruction of law, and false swearing. Her defense team asked for an acquittal Friday morning, telling Judge Demchick-Alloy the prosecution presented insufficient evidence, and "No reasonable jury could say the Commonwealth has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt." However, the judge denied Kane's request and announced closing arguments would begin following a weekend break.

Prosecutors wrapped up their case Friday morning with a final few witnesses, including Catherine Hicks, the fiancee of the late Jerome Mondesire, the former President of the Philadelphia NAACP.

Mondesire was one of the central figures in a grand jury report Kane is accused of leaking to the Philadelphia Daily News in 2014. Prosecutors say Kane leaked the confidential documents to the newspaper in order to embarrass a political opponent, former Philadelphia assistant District Attorney Frank Fina.

Hicks said that when the Daily News article was published on June 6, 2014, Mondesire was angry. Hicks testified that Mondesire lost credibility within the community after the allegations surfaced, despite the fact he was never arrested.

"The story made it seem like he had a cloud of impropriety over him," Hicks said.

Mondesire died last year.

Chris Brennan, the reporter who wrote the Daily News article, testified Friday morning as well. He declined to reveal his source for the story, but did testify to on-the-record conversations he had for the story.

Also testifying Friday was Gabriel Stahl, an analyst and investigative services coordinator in the attorney general's office. She told jurors in July 2014, an agent instructed her to scan two of the leaked grand jury documents and a copy of the Daily News article and e-mail them to Attorney General Kane.

Kane, she testified, did not respond to the e-mail, and defense attorneys pointed out that Stahl had no knowledge if Kane had seen or read any of those e-mails.