Witness Now Says He Lied At Stevens Trial
An unusual letter from a witness has prompted a federal judge to hold a hearing next week related to charges of prosecutorial misconduct in the corruption case of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.
The felony case against Stevens, the Republican who recently lost his bid for re-election to ex-Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, finished Oct. 27 with a guilty verdict. The 85-year-old senator has dismissed the notion that he would petition President Bush to grant him a pardon, instead indicating that he would file an appeal.
A key government witness sent a letter to prosecutors and defense attorneys Nov. 15, alleging, among other things, that he lied on the witness stand about having an immunity agreement and was coached about dates and details by prosecutors eagerly seeking a conviction. That witness, David Allen Anderson, is the nephew of oil company executive Bill Allen, the government's star witness in the case against Stevens. Anderson also worked for the Anchorage oil firm Veco and testified that he performed hundreds of hours of labor on Stevens's home.
Prosecutors say Anderson's allegations are false. But his three-page letter is a hot topic in Alaskan political circles, as attorneys plan for a "brief" Monday hearing on the matter.
Among Anderson's allegations:
-- Anderson claimed the government was refusing to honor an immunity agreement it had offered to him and his family in exchange for testifying at the Stevens trial.
"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," Anderson wrote.
-- In order to testify favorably for the prosecution at trial, Anderson said, he studied grand jury testimony for several months and lied about dates and events that had occurred.
"Without the preparation from the prosecution and the reminders from them about my activities and the agreement I had with them about my family and myself I would not have given the same testimony," Anderson wrote. "Without a shadow of a doubt I believe this trial would have gone much differently."
-- Anderson claimed that he feared for his life because he believed that his uncle and cousin had put out a contract to have him killed.
By Derek Kravitz |
November 26, 2008; 7:49 AM ET
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