- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 22, 2008

The tents have been packed up after the circuslike trial of Sen. Ted Stevens, but the sideshows continue to play.

More than a month after the Alaska Republican was convicted on seven felony counts of failing to disclose more than $250,000 he received in gifts and renovations to his Girdwood home, one of the case’s more-vexing and colorful figures now claims he committed perjury on the witness stand and charges a murder-for-hire plot against him by another witness.

The assertions made Friday by David Anderson provide the latest bizarre twists in a case in which prosecutors already have been chided for concealing evidence, witnesses have contradicted themselves, and the jurors tried to get one member off the panel while another lied about her father dying in order to ditch the trial.

Mr. Anderson, who performed some of the home renovations at the heart of the case, initially said in an affidavit that there was an immunity deal between himself and prosecutors. During the trial, he testified that his affidavit was false and that there was no such deal. Now he says that his testimony was a lie and the prosecutors knew it.

If true and proven, these actions would count as the prosecution suborning perjury and could provide grounds for overturning the Stevens conviction.

“I testified to the fact that there was never immunity for me or my family and friends,” Mr. Anderson wrote in a letter dated Nov. 15 to U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan. “That is simply not true.”

Stevens defense attorneys included the letter in a court filing Friday that sought a hearing to examine Mr. Anderson’s accusations.

Such a hearing would be an unusual event, with defense attorneys claiming they would need to question FBI agents and prosecutors involved with the case in order to determine “what the government did with respect to Mr. Anderson; what the government knew, and when the government knew it.”

Stevens lost the Senate seat that he has held for four decades earlier this month and still awaits sentencing in the case.

Prosecutors dismissed Mr. Anderson’s claims as nonsense in a response filed later Friday.

“Simply put, Mr. Anderson’s November 2008 letter is false,” prosecutors wrote.

The nexus of Mr. Anderson’s claim lies in an affidavit that he signed in March in which he states that in exchange for his testimony, authorities offered him and 13 family members and friends immunity from prosecution for any crimes occurring in the past decade.

In an even more bizarre twist, Mr. Anderson claims that he only agreed to the affidavit to make it look as if he and his circle had government protection, because he learned of a murder-for-hire plot against him.

In the letter to the judge, he said millionaire oil tycoon Bill Allen, the star witness against Mr. Stevens, was behind such a plot.

Allen, who showered Stevens with the gifts and home renovations at the center of the case, pleaded guilty to bribing state lawmakers in Alaska and, like Mr. Anderson, has cooperated with prosecutors.

There is no love lost between Allen and Mr. Anderson — Allen testified he was “ashamed” to say Mr. Anderson was his nephew.

But Allen has not been charged with taking part in such a plot, and no evidence released publicly suggests a plot even exists.

At the Stevens trial, Mr. Anderson distanced himself from the affidavit, testifying there was no immunity deal.

Now, he says that was a lie.

In the letter to the judge, Mr. Anderson says that the affidavit is true and that it’s his testimony that was false. He also accuses prosecutors of trying to improve his anti-Stevens testimony by giving documents to study shortly before taking the stand.

“Without the preparation from the prosecution and the reminders from them about my activities and the agreement I had with them about my family and myself I would not have given the same testimony,” Mr. Anderson wrote. “Without a shadow of a doubt I believe this trial would have gone much differently.”

Prosecutors don’t believe that, or Mr. Anderson’s latest version of events.

They say that FBI agents interviewed Mr. Anderson before the trial and that he acknowledged then that there was no immunity deal. Mr. Anderson also said he only signed the affidavit claiming an immunity deal because he was receiving pressure from the father of a woman he was involved with.

“Anderson stated he realized the government had agreed not to make Anderson provide direct testimony against his family members,” prosecutors wrote, “but that Anderson knew that there had been no agreement relative to immunity or promises of immunity by the government as to anyone.”

Judge Sullivan has not yet decided whether to scheduled a hearing to examine Mr. Anderson’s accusations.

This isn’t the first time that evidence related to Mr. Anderson has stirred a fuss.

Judge Sullivan ruled during the trial that prosecutors knowingly introduced into evidence false records indicating Mr. Anderson had worked on Stevens’ home when Mr. Anderson had actually been in Oregon at the time. The judge threw that evidence out but allowed the case to go forward over the protests of defense attorneys.

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