Rep. William Jefferson's (D-La.) trial on corruption charges likely will not begin until 2009, delaying the initially planned December 2 trial date past Jefferson's race for reelection.

Judge T.S. Ellis III ordered a hearing on December 19 to hear updates to the status of the trial, indicating that the trial will not begin early next month as planned.

The delay will ensure that Jefferson's criminal trial will not take place before his December 6 election against Republican Joseph Cao, in which Jefferson will seek reelection despite being under indictment.

During the status hearing, Jefferson's attorneys will ask for permission to depose overseas businessmen accused of bribing the Louisiana congressman, the New Orleans Time-Picayune reported.

-Michael O'Brien