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Stevens Trial Witness Accuses Prosecutors Of Improper Behavior

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.

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.

Now, however, Anderson says that he would not have testified without an "understanding" on immunity with the governmen, and instead of would have asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to testify.

"Before I took the witness stand that day I had the understanding that the agreement would be honored or I would never have testified, I would have pleaded the [Fifth]," Anderson wrote. "The prosecution has never denied that they had agreed that they would leave my family and friends alone free of prosecution through the Department and Treasury Department[']s investigations."

Anderson added: "The Department of Justice has never ever denied that they shook my hand on this agreement but instructed me on how to sugar coat it and get it swept under the rug during the trial as they told the court just the opposite."
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