Judge Suspends Stevens' Trial, May Dismiss Case

Judge Emmet Sullivan suspended the corruption trial of Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) today after he found out that federal prosecutors had not turned over all their evidence to Stevens' attorneys.

Prosecutors disclosed this morning that they hadn't given defense lawyers exculpatory information from an FBI interview with Bill Allen, the Justice Department's star witness in the case. Allen, the former CEO of Veco Corp., an Alaska oil services company, has testified that his former company, with Stevens' knowledge, paid more than $180,000 to cover the costs of renovating Stevens' home in Girdwood, Alaska. DOJ alleges that Stevens did not report the gifts from Allen, Veco and others on his annual financial disclosure reports. Stevens has denied the charges.

Allen reportedly told an FBI agent that Stevens would have paid the full cost of the renovations if he had known about it, information that prosecutors did not share with Stevens' attorneys until near midnight on Wednesday.

Judge Sullivan has scheduled a hearing this afternoon on whether to declare a mistrial.

This is the second time that Judge Sullivan has berated prosecutrors for their handling of evidence and witnesses, but he rejected an earlier attempt by Stevens' lawyers to dimiss the charges or declare a mistrial.