Election 2008

senator ted stevens, senator ted stevens Alaska
Al Grillo/AP
Sen. Ted Stevens

Sen. Ted Stevens’s Lawyers Argue About Delays

September 11, 2008 06:59 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
Defense attorneys say delays in examining evidence against indicted Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens could damage his trial.

Stevens Trial at Risk?

If prosecutors don’t turn over evidence soon, Sen. Ted Stevens’s lawyers say his right to a fair trial could be at risk. Stevens is accused of failing to report more than $250,000 of “gifts and benefits” from various friends and “favor-seekers,” according to the Anchorage Daily News.

One of those “favor-seekers” is the former chairman of the oil-field services company Veco Corp., Bill Allen. He’s pleaded guilty to bribing Alaska legislators and will be a witness against Stevens.

Stevens’s attorneys say any evidence in favor of Stevens, or damaging to witnesses like Allen, must be turned over before the trial. They cited a past sexual abuse case against Allen, and said it could lessen his credibility. Allen also experienced a brain injury during a motorcycle accident years ago, and Stevens’s attorneys say that, “To date, the government has not disclosed any documents or other information relating to this injury that might allow the defense to determine what impact, if any, the injury may have had on Allen’s ability to recall and perceive the events at issue in this case.”
Stevens pleaded not guilty to corruption charges in Washington, D.C., and also made it clear that he does not want his indictment to get in the way of his reelection campaign. Corruption cases tend to take years, but prosecutors and the judge said they had no problem with moving the case along quickly.

On Sept. 10, a federal judge denied requests to dismiss the case against Stevens. The trial, scheduled to start with jury selection on Sept. 22, is expected to last approximately one month.

Related Topic: The Palin/Stevens Relationship


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines