Judge Sends Stevens Jury Home, May Declare Mistrial

Prosecutors withheld FBI reports on witness
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2008 11:34 AM CDT
Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, middle left, and VECO Corp. CEO Bill Allen, back left, bring in a King Salmon, in this image introduced as a government exhibit,   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – A federal judge sent the jury in Ted Stevens’ Washington corruption trial home today as he considers declaring a mistrial for the Alaska senator, the AP reports. Stevens’ lawyers claimed that prosecutors attempted to withhold FBI reports about the government’s key witness, former oil exec Bill Allen, that they say would’ve helped their defense.

Prosecutors said withholding the files was a honest mistake, but judge Emmet Sullivan was livid: "Why shouldn't I dismiss the indictment?" he told the prosecutors before sending the jury away. The defense had earlier requested a mistrial when it was revealed that the prosecution had sent a witness helpful to the defense back to Alaska, but Sullivan did not grant it.