By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 1, 2008 1:52 PM
A federal judge has postponed a hearing scheduled for today into allegations by a witness that he received extensive help from prosecutors before he testified in the corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). The witness has also alleged that he lied on the stand about an immunity deal with prosecutors.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan rescheduled for Jan. 15 the hearing to consider a defense request to question the witness, David Anderson, and others about disclosures Anderson made in a letter to the judge last month.
Besides telling Sullivan that he had received extensive help from prosecutors in preparing his testimony, Anderson also wrote that he lied on the stand in saying he did not have an immunity agreement with authorities.
In his letter, he wrote that his testimony about not having immunity "is simply not true." However, he does not reference a formal deal and says that he thought he had immunity because authorities "shook my hand" on such an agreement.
At trial, he testified that he did not have a formal agreement with prosecutors but believed he had a "handshake" deal with authorities in exchange for his help.
Without the help and the deal, Anderson told Sullivan in the letter, he would have testified differently.
Defense lawyers have accused prosecutors of allowing Anderson to lie on the stand; prosecutors have said they did nothing wrong.
Stevens was convicted in October of lying on financial disclosure forms to hide $250,000 in gifts and free home renovations to his Alaska home. No sentencing date has been set.
Prosecutors alleged that most of those gifts and renovations were financed by a now-defunct oil services firm, Veco, or its top executive, Bill Allen. Anderson is Allen's nephew and worked for him at Veco.