Stevens Denied Mistrial

Justice Dept. under suspicion of trying to bury evidence that may help senator
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2008 10:31 AM CDT
Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, accompanied by his daughter Beth, arrives at federal court in Washington today for his trial on corruption charges begins.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A federal judge denied Ted Stevens’ request for a mistrial today, but not before lashing the Department of Justice for withholding a key witness from the defense, the AP reports. “The government is treading in some shallow water here,” Emmet Sullivan declared. Stevens’ lawyers moved for a mistrial after talking with a witness who refuted prosecution evidence and whom, they said, prosecutors knew about.

Stevens is accused of concealing $250,000 in corporate gifts, including an $188,000 renovation of his home. But the defense said it had spoken to a worker who said he’d worked “nowhere near” the hours claimed by the feds. Prosecutors quietly told the potential witness to return to Alaska. “Why wasn't I consulted?” Sullivan asked. “I’m peeved now. It's a federal subpoena to appear in my court.”