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Stevens asks for new trial or acquittal

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[December 06, 2008]  WASHINGTON (AP) -- Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens asked a judge Friday to give him a new trial or throw out his felony conviction, saying his trial had many "deficiencies."

RestaurantStevens, 85, the Senate's longest-serving Republican, was convicted on seven felony counts of lying on Senate financial disclosure documents to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and home renovations from Alaska businessman Bill Allen, founder of oil services company VECO.

The senator, who won't be sentenced until early 2009, has said he will appeal the conviction. He lost his Senate seat to Democrat Mark Begich, the mayor of Anchorage, in the November election.

In court papers, Stevens alleges a multitude of problems with his conviction, including complaints about the jurors, Justice Department prosecutors and the trial judge's decisions.

"When the government proffers false evidence and withholds key exculpatory evidence; when improper hearsay evidence forms the linchpin of the government's case; when the indictment conceals the nature of the charges and the government then emphasizes uncharged conduct; and when jurors lie to the court and opine that 'all politicians are guilty,' the defendant has not received a fair trial," lawyers said in court papers. They said Stevens' trial "suffered from these and many other deficiencies."

It was not known when U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan would rule.

Sullivan already has scheduled a Jan. 15 hearing on one of the trial witnesses' claim that he lied while on the stand, something the Justice Department has denied.

[Associated Press; By JESSE J. HOLLAND]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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