Justice in its state Georgia prosecuted the former US president on Monday Donald Trump and 18 other persons for their alleged illegal efforts to secure the reversal of the 2020 election result in this key state.

This is the fourth criminal indictment against Donald Trump in less than six months amid the Republican Party’s internal process to nominate the party’s nominee for the White House in November 2024.

The Fulton County District Attorney, Fanny Willis, relied on existing Georgia organized crime law for the indictment. The law, which is mainly used to prosecute gang members, carries sentences ranging from 5 years to 20 years in prison.

Despite the then-outgoing president’s loss in Georgia in 2020, Mr. Trump and his co-defendants “refused to admit they lost” and “knowingly and willingly participated in a conspiracy to illegally overturn” the election, according to the indictment.

A jury sitting in the capital of the southeastern US state approved the indictment at the end of a day of testimony from eyewitnesses called by the prosecution.

This body of citizens with broad powers was set up by Mrs Willis, who has been investigating the case since 2021, to reach a conclusion on whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the tempestuous property tycoon, particularly for fraud and illegal attempt to interfere in the electoral process.

A pardon cannot be granted

The person concerned attacked the prosecutor again, with an announcement of his campaign that was made public last Monday night: he succeeded against this “furious” Democratic judge, who according to him serves the interests of Joe Biden, the Democratic president.

Ms. Willis “strategically delayed her investigation in order to interfere as much as possible in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election and damage the Trump campaign that is dominating” the polls, according to the statement, which did not specifically refer to the indictment of the former president.

The investigation was primarily sparked by a phone conversation Donald Trump had in January 2021 – a recording of which has been made public – in which he demanded a local senior official “find” about 12,000 ballots in his favor that were missing to win the state.

To prevent violent incidents or pressure, security bars were erected in front of the courthouse in Atlanta.

Unlike federal proceedings, the hearings in Georgia are televised live, but Mr. Trump, who owes part of his celebrity to appearing on “reality” shows, was not allowed to attend.

Even if he wins next year’s presidential election, he won’t be able to pardon himself or get prosecutors to drop the charges because this is a state-level case, so the federal government can’t intervene.

The proceedings relate in part to acts included in the August 1 indictment of Mr. Trump by a federal court in Washington for alleged illegal maneuvering in the 2020 election in seven key states, including Georgia. A date for that trial has not been set.

As for the case against him in Georgia, Ms. Willis said she intended the trial to be held “within the next six months” and that all co-defendants would be tried together.

The former president, who has so far been crushing his opponents in the Republican primary in the polls, will face further trials in March and May 2024. He is called to account for buying the silence of a pornographic actor before the justice of New York · and also about the way he handled state secrets in federal court in Florida.