CHICAGO (CBS) — Prosecutors want Smollett’s new lawyer kicked off the case because of a possible conflict of interest.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said Smollett’s new attorney, Nenye Uche, spoke with two key witnesses before taking on Smollett as a client. Those witnesses are brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, who claim Smollett hired them to stage a fake attack on the actor.
The judge has called for another hearing on the matter next week.
A new indictment filed against Smollett in February 2020 charged him with six counts of disorderly conduct, accuses him of filing false police reports that he was attacked on the way home from Subway in the middle of the night in Streeterville in January 2019.
Cook County prosecutors dropped the original case against Smollett, dismissing 16 counts of disorderly conduct against him last March, without requiring he admit any wrongdoing, in a controversial move just weeks after he’d pleaded not guilty.
A special prosecutor later was assigned to look into the entire case, after a judge found “unprecedented irregularities” in how Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx handled the case, specifically by handing it over to her second-in-command after announcing she had recused herself.
Smollett has pleaded not guilty to the new indictment.