Snipes snubs Florida

Actor Wesley Snipes has filed a motion with a federal appeals court in a bid to have his tax evasion trial moved out of Ocala in Florida.

Actor Wesley Snipes has filed a motion with a federal appeals court in a bid to have his tax evasion trial moved out of Ocala in Florida.

The New Jack City star is due to stand trial on charges that he fraudulently claimed tax refunds of about R84million in 1996 and 1997. Snipes is also accused of failing to file tax returns from 1999 to 2004.

The actor's lawyers last month argued that the African-American would not get a fair trial in Ocala due to racial prejudices and that he has the right to a trial in New York where he was living when the alleged offences occurred.

That request was declined by district judge William T Hodges so Snipes' lawyer Robert Barnes filed a motion at a federal appeals court in Atlanta in Georgia claiming Hodges' decision was erroneous. He requested that the trial, which is due to start on 14 January, be placed on hold.

The motion marks the third time that Snipes, 45, has tried to relocate the trial. - Wenn

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