Stevens’ Lawyers Renew Call for Dismissal

Posted October 6, 2008 at 7:25am

Sen. Ted Stevens’ attorneys have again asked the judge in his corruption trial to dismiss the case, arguing that the government has engaged in a pattern of hiding potentially exculpatory evidence from the defense.

Last week, the judge rejected a similar motion from the Alaska Republican’s lawyers but admonished the government for its mishandling of evidence, an he ordered prosecutors to hand over reams of evidence to the defense for review, including grand jury testimony of witnesses and FBI summaries of interviews with witnesses.

Judge Emmet Sullivan said Monday that he will schedule a hearing on Stevens’ new dismissal motion, but would allow the trail to continue Monday with additional testimony by former VECO Chief Executive Bill Allen.

On Sunday, the defense argued that these documents included many other examples of evidence that could have been useful to the defense that were not previously turned over by the government.

The defense team argues that the government withheld testimony from Dave Anderson, a key VECO employee on the renovation project at the heart of the case, stating that during late 2000, while the project was ongoing, he was actually working on a VECO project in Portland, Ore. Stevens’ team argues that this proves — and that the government knew but did not disclose — that VECO’s billing records for the work done on Stevens home are incorrect, and possibly dramatically inflated.

“Until today, defense counsel have refrained from alleging intentional misconduct by the government. We can no longer do so in good conscience,” Stevens’ lawyers wrote.

The government has until Monday evening to file a reply, but in a brief response Sunday evening, the prosecution responded: “Contrary to all of the theatrics and hyperbole from the defense, no one has attempted to hide evidence or hold back any discoverable item. … The defendants speculation regarding the government’s conduct in this case is flatly wrong.”