Siegelman optimistic about appellate court hearing

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman says he is optimistic as he awaits a hearing Tuesday by a federal appeals court panel in his and former HealthSouth chief Richard Scrushy's bribery case.

Siegelman is free from prison on an appeal bond and says he will be in Atlanta when his attorneys present oral arguments to the appellate judges.

He says his spirits have been lifted by the support of family and friends.

Scrushy is still in prison in a federal penitentiary in Beaumont, Texas.

His attorney, Art Leach, says Scrushy also optimistic about Tuesday's hearing before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Siegelman and Scrushy were convicted of bribery and other charges in a federal government corruption case.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) AP-NY-12-08-08 1150EST