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Judge Tosses Ted Stevens Case; Appoints Lawyer to Probe Government’s Misconduct

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan

As expected U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan not only voided the conviction of  ex-Senator Ted Stevens but he publicly criticized the Justice Department for its embarrassing execution of the case. This isn’t the end of all this.

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — A federal judge this morning tossed out the conviction of former senator Ted Stevens and assigned an outside lawyer to investigate allegations of misconduct by the prosecutors who tried him on public corruption charges.

In throwing out the October conviction, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan called accusations that prosecutors mishandled evidence and witnesses “shocking and disturbing.” In his 25 years on the bench, the judge said he had “never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct in this case.” He then urged Attorney General Eric H. Holder to better train prosecutors about the requirements for turning over evidence to defense lawyers that may help their case.

Stevens, 85, who narrowly lost reelection eight days after being found guilty of seven counts of lying on financial disclosure forms, said the actions of prosecutors had “nearly destroyed” his faith in the criminal justice system. But he thanked the judge and a new team of Justice Department lawyers for pressing to uncover the truth.

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