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US: Anand Jon's sister fined for contempt of court

September 19, 2009 02:34 IST

Sanjana Abraham, elder sister of jailed fashion designer Anand Jon, was fined $1,000 and sentenced to either five days in jail or to do 120 hours of community service for contempt of court.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Wesley earlier announced a fine of $1,000 and community service for 120 hours to juror Alvin Dymally for the same offence.

The judge found them in contempt for violating a court order not to talk to anyone about the case. They had spoken with each other before and after the verdict that found Jon guilty.

Sanjana's attorney Dana Cole indicated she prefers to do community service, but has a medical condition. The judge ordered her to provide a valid doctor's notice. He will  decide on community service other that picking up trash for the Caltrans train service once the letter is produced September 22.

'Prosecutors are evaluating whether to file criminal charges against Dymally,' said Jane Robison, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles district attorney.

Dymally admitted he acted in contempt of court. He apologized to the judge, saying he meant no disrespect. He gave his telephone number to Sanjana before the verdict, and spoke to her twice. He voted to convict Anand. After the verdict too, he spoke to Sanjana, who secretly recorded the conversation.

With the permission of the court, a meeting was arranged at a Starbucks outlet, but the prosecution prevented Dymally from meeting Sanjana.

The defense asked for a retrial pointing out Dymally's behavior. The judge did not agree and sentenced Jon to 59 years in jail.

George Joseph in New York