By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 5, 2008 4:57 PM
Attorneys for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) filed court papers today seeking a new trial, alleging that federal prosecutors presented "false evidence" and withheld information that could have aided his defense.
The 85-year-old lawmaker was convicted in October of seven felony counts of lying on financial disclosure forms to hide more than $250,000 in gifts and free renovations to his Alaska home. Federal prosecutors said that many of the gifts and home renovations were financed by a now-defunct oil services company, Veco, and its chief executive, Bill Allen. Convicted just eight days before the general election, Stevens lost a bid for a seventh-full term to Anchorage's Democratic mayor.
No sentencing date has been set. The defense motion was not a surprise -- Stevens' lawyers have accused federal prosecutors of misconduct, of withholding evidence and, more recently, of coaching a witness. U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has set a hearing on the defense motions for Feb. 25.
In their 78-page motion filed today, Stevens' attorneys also blamed the lawmaker's conviction on biased jurors and the judge's decision to hold the trial in Washington, not Alaska. Prosecutors did not respond to phone calls seeking comment. They have until next month to respond.