Jurors are now deliberating in the Boston Calling extortion trial. City Hall aides Kenneth Brissette and Timothy Sullivan are accused of pressuring the musical festival's organizers into hiring union workers five years ago. WGBH Radio's Isaiah Thompson, who has been covering the trial, spoke with WGBH Radio's Arun Rath. This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Arun Rath: So the case has gone to the jury. Prosecutors and lawyers for the defense made their final arguments. Could you sum up their summations?

Isaiah Thompson: Prosecutors summed up the argument they’ve been making all along, which is that Brissette and Sullivan used their position and their power to coerce Boston Calling into hiring union stagehands that the festival didn’t want or need. And part of the argument all along has been that days before the festival was set to open, they still had not received a couple of critical permits. The prosecution has argued that the defendants used the festival’s fear of going bankrupt if they couldn’t get these permits in order to force them to hire union stagehands. Eventually they did hire nine union stagehands.

The defense has not argued against the idea that Brissette and Sullivan did ask Boston Calling to hire union labor, but what they’ve said is that it wasn’t extortion — it was two men doing their jobs as City Hall employees in trying to broker a resolution to a simmering and nasty labor dispute between Boston Calling and the local stagehands union. The defense lawyers argued also that neither of these defendants had the power to withhold permits from Boston Calling. And in fact, Boston Calling’s liquor permit was being held up not because of the defendants, they argue, but because Boston Police had serious concerns with alcohol sales at the festival. Former Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans testified that he was concerned, and that those concerns with the liquor permit had nothing to do with the defendants. So the defense argued that these are two city employees trying to do their jobs, trying to bring different parties to the table and broker a resolution. Nothing more, no extortion.

Read more: Boston Calling Extortion Case Now In Hands Of Jury

Rath: Lawyers for the defense asked the judge to dismiss the case. Any chance that might happen?

Thompson: It’s pretty standard in federal criminal cases for the defense, after the trial has concluded, to make a motion to have the judge acquit the defendant. But in this case, Judge Leo Sorokin found a lot of what he called “issues” with not just the arguments that prosecutors were making, but really the entire case they brought, and whether or not the evidence they’ve presented constitutes extortion. Sorokin said he was going to withhold a ruling on this motion by the defense. The judge could acquit the defendants himself regardless of what happens in jury deliberations.

Rath: What would you say was maybe the most dramatic testimony or compelling witness?

Thompson: I think in some ways the most interesting witness in this case was Brian Apell. He’s the CEO of Boston Calling and testified as a witness for the prosecution. He testified that he hadn’t wanted to hire union stagehands, that he had felt pressure from the defendants to do so. But during cross-examination, he also testified that there had been no direct threats, but also, more importantly, he was asked whether he believed the defendants had intended harm to him or his company, and he said no, he hadn’t. He was asked whether he felt he was being extorted, and he was being really unclear on that. And I think that was quite a twist for this case. Here was a prosecution witness, in some ways a star witness, the alleged victim, not exactly saying that he himself felt that extortion had been committed.

Rath: One witness who we didn’t hear from was Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. He was listed as a potential witness, but he was never called to the stand. His name has come up a lot in this trial. Why didn’t we hear from him?

Thompson: Mayor Walsh was on the prosecution’s witness list, so it was for the prosecution to call him or not. They didn’t. It’s very interesting, the prosecution invoked Mayor Walsh’s name many times in their opening remarks. They invoked it again in their closing arguments. Part of the story they’re trying to tell is that the motivation of the defendants was to extort Boston Calling into hiring union labor to please Walsh, a pro-union mayor who had had the support of unions, including the local stagehands union. The fact that he was never called may speak to the fact that there’s really no evidence presented in this case that ties Mayor Walsh directly to any of this. One wonders whether the prosecution thought twice about putting Walsh on the stand. Walsh may have made a formidable witness for them.