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Prosecutors Ask Judge to Reject Stevens’ Dismissal Request

Federal prosecutors urged the judge in the criminal trial of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) to reject the Senator’s most recent motion for dismissal, arguing Sunday that in filing the motion, the defense violated the judge’s prohibition on publicizing previously secret grand jury testimony. Stevens, who is charged with failing to report tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts on his annual financial disclosure forms, filed a motion to dismiss the case Saturday, arguing that the government had presented false evidence before the grand jury that indicted him. The motion included quotes from that testimony, and the attachments included excerpts of witness testimony before the grand jury. The government argued in a motion filed Sunday evening that the transcripts of the grand jury testimony were handed over to the defense as part of the evidence for Stevens’ trial, and the judge had directly ordered the defense not to make the transcripts available to anyone else. “The Court’s Order could not have been clearer: Do not disseminate or publish the material to anyone – not defense counsel, not witnesses, not third parties, and certainly not the public at large,” the government wrote Sunday. “Defendant deliberately ignored this Order as part of his ongoing campaign to infuse the public record with one spurious allegation after another in the hope that, if repeated enough, the allegations will distract from the actual evidence presented in Court over the last few weeks.” The judge has not said when he will rule on the motion to dismiss – the fifth such motion Stevens’ attorneys have filed since the start of the trial. The prosecution’s motion indicates that Stevens’ legal team told the judge today that he need not rule on the motion until after the case goes to the jury, which the government says proves that the defense knows the motion is spurious.

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