A government witness who testified against convicted Sen. Ted Stevens has accused federal prosecutors of presenting false evidence during the Alaska Republican's corruption trial.
In a Nov. 15 letter to Judge Emmet Sullivan, David Anderson, who worked on Stevens' home in Girdwood, Alaska, and then testified against Stevens, claimed that Bill Allen, the chief government witness, and his son have "a contract to have me murdered," and said he was coached by prosecutors on details of his testimony. Anderson was the last person called by prosecutors in their case against Stevens.
Stevens was convicted of failing to disclose more than $250,000 in improper gifts from Bill Allen and others. While Stevens claimed to be innocent even after he was convicted on Oct. 27, Alaska voters ended his 40-year Senate career by backing Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.
Citing Anderson's claims, Stevens' lawyers have asked Judge Sullivan to conduct discovery into his allegations, including seeking testimony from prosecutors and FBI agents involved in the case under oath.
Update - In a motion filed late this afternoon, the Justice Department vehemently denied Anderson's assertions.
"Simply put, Mr. Anderson’s November 2008 letter is false," wrote federal prosecutors. "In his letter, Mr. Anderson states that he lied during his testimony in the Stevens trial concerning whether the federal government provided immunity, for all criminal acts committed in a ten-year period, to thirteen of Mr. Anderson’s relatives. Mr. Anderson’s statement in his November 2008 letter is not true, and the Court is aware that it is not true."
In a three-page letter to Judge Sullivan, Anderson noted that he was asked during his appearance at Stevens' trial whether he and his family had been promised immunity for agreeing to testify against the senator. Anderson signed an affidavit on March 25 saying he had gotten such a promise from the FBI, but during his testimony, and told the court that he had not.
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