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Claims of prosecutorial abuse keep Ted Stevens case alive

WASHINGTON — The judge who oversaw the trial of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens may allow testimony in open court from two of the people who have come forward with complaints about how the investigation and prosecution unfolded.

Stevens, who was found guilty on seven counts of filing false statements on his U.S. Senate financial disclosure forms, was convicted Oct. 27. Since then, his lawyers have filed several motions to dismiss his indictment or grant him a new trial. Their motions have been based, in part, on allegations by Anchorage FBI agent Chad Joy and a witness in the case, Dave Anderson.

Joy, part of the team investigating political corruption in Alaska since 2004, said the lead agent in the probe grew too close to sources and violated the FBI's policy. He also alleged that prosecutors worked to prevent Stevens from obtaining favorable evidence before and during the trial. Anderson, the government's final witness, said he gave false testimony about a plea deal he believed he had with the government, and that prosecutors knew it.

"A lot has happened since the verdict was returned in October," said U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said during a hearing today.

The judge agreed to postpone for 30 days all other pending motions until the government gives him a written status update about where prosecutors are on releasing documents and other materials to the defense. The documents in question are connected to the information revealed in Joy's whistle-blower complaint and Anderson's letter to the court.

The government has until April 9 to file an update on where prosecutors are on releasing such information to the court. They told the judge they have already begun turning over information, including the results of interviews conducted by the Justice Department's internal investigators.

The defense has until April 14 to file a response. A hearing is set for April 15.