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Martha Trial Witness Indicted

A federal grand jury has returned an indictment against a Secret Service ink expert who prosecutors say lied on the witness stand at the trial of television show host and entrepreneur Martha Stewart and her ex-stockbroker.

The indictment charges Larry F. Stewart, who is not related to the lifestyle entrepreneur, with two counts of making false declarations in court — similar to the perjury charges filed against him by prosecutors last month.

Prosecutors say Larry Stewart lied about his role in the ink testing of a worksheet prepared by broker Peter Bacanovic that reflected Martha Stewart's portfolio.

Lawyers for Martha Stewart have said they will ask a federal judge later this week to grant a new trial based on the allegations. Lawyers for Bacanovic are expected to do the same.

But legal experts say a new trial is a long shot because the defense never disputed the central element of Larry Stewart's testimony — that Bacanovic used multiple inks on the worksheet.

Martha Stewart and Bacanovic were convicted March 5 of lying about why she sold 3,928 shares of ImClone Systems Inc. stock in 2001, just before the price plunged. Each is expected to get 10 to 16 months in prison at sentencing July 8.

Bacanovic was cleared of a charge of falsifying a document.

Larry Stewart has yet to enter a plea on the charges against him.

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