1. ITV Report

Judge declares mistrial in John Edwards campaign fraud case

John Edwards Photo: AP Photo/Chuck Burton

Former presidential candidate John Edwards has been found not guilty on one of six campaign fraud charges.

Despite deliberating for nine days, the jury could not reach a verdict on the other counts, forcing the judge to declare a mistrial.

The two-time presidential candidate was accused of soliciting nearly $1 million in donations from campaign contributions from wealthy donors and using the money to hide his pregnant mistress during his 2008 Democratic presidential campaign.

He was found not guilty of accepting illegal campaign contributions from one wealthy supporter, Rachel "Bunny" Mellon in 2008.

US District Judge Catherin Eagles was forced to declare a mistrial on the remaining five charges.

During the trial the prosecution detailed how Edwards met his mistress Rielle Hunter and how he worked throughout his campaign to keep the affair and later his love child a secret. They said Fred Baron, another wealthy backer who was once Edwards' campaign treasurer, contributed an additional $300,000 to move Ms Hunter and her baby to various locations across the country to keep them away from the media.

John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth at Iowa State University in 2008. Credit: John Gress / Reuters

Edwards' lawyers said their client was a victim of a political witch hunt, and that any lies he told were in an effort to keep the affair from his wife Elizabeth, who was dying of cancer at the time.

John Edwards committed many sins, but no crimes

– John Edwards' defence lawyer

Edwards made an emotional speech outside the courtroom flanked by his eldest child Cate and his elderly parents.

It is not immediately clear whether prosecutors intend to seek a new trial on other charges.