The trial of a Louisiana congressman accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes will not take place until after the November elections.

Democrat William J. Jefferson is accused of soliciting bribes in exchange for exerting his influence to broker business deals in Africa.

At a pretrial hearing Friday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Judge T.S. Ellis III set a December trial date, though it's likely the trial will begin in 2009. The trial is on hold while a federal appeals court considers Jefferson's claim of legislative privilege.

Jefferson won re-election in 2006 even though the investigation had become public. He has not announced whether he will seek re-election this year.