DOJ Asks Judge To Forget Jury Instructions, Stevens Seeks Acquittal

Federal prosecutors in Sen. Ted Stevens' (R-Alaska) corruption trial are asking the judge in the case not to issue instructions to the jury saying the Justice Department failed to provide potentially exculpatory information to the defense, while lawyers for Stevens are seeking an acquittal.

Both sides filed motions tonight with Judge Emmet Sullivan as the prosecutors prepare to complete their case on Thursday.

Judge Sullivan berated prosecutors on Wednesday afternoon for failing to turn over all the evidence they have as part of the discovery process, including grand-jury testimony by one witness, Dave Anderson, that would have been helpful for Stevens' defense. The Justice Department also sent another witness involved in the renovation of Stevens' home, Rocky Williams, back to Alaska before he could be interviewed by defense counsel, a move that upset Judge Sullivan and Stevens' attroneys.

At issue is the role that Williams and Anderson had in the renovation of Stevens' home in Girdwood, Alaska, during late 2000 and early 2001. Williams and Anderson were employees of VECO Corp., an Alaska oil-services company whose former CEO, Bill Allen, is alleged to have given Stevens more than $250,000 in improper gifts that Stevens never reported.

The Justice Department charged Stevens with failing to report the gifts on his annual Senate disclosure form, and they alleged that he took official actions favorable to Allen and VECO. Stevens has denied the charges.

Williams and Anderson worked for VECO on the home renovation project. Williams was the foreman of the project, but he was never called to testify despite being brought to Washington by the Justice Dept. for that purpose prior to the start of the trial. When defense attorneys finally got in touch with Williams, DOJ had already sent him back to Alaska, claiming he had serious health problems.

Anderson worked on the home renovation as well, althouhgh he told the grand jury that he was in Portland, Ore., for the last three months of 2000. Prosecutors never disclosed that fact to Stevens either.
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