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Stevens guilty of all charges

  |   Oct. 27, 2008 at 8:58 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, was found guilty Monday of all seven federal felony charges related to unreported gifts and renovation work done on his home.

Stevens didn't talk to reporters before leaving U.S. District Court in Washington but his office issued a statement in which he maintained his innocence.

"I am obviously disappointed in the verdict but not surprised given the repeated instances of prosecutorial misconduct in this case," Stevens said. "I will fight this unjust verdict with every ounce of energy I have. I am innocent. This verdict is the result of the unconscionable manner in which the Justice Department lawyers conducted this trial. I ask that Alaskans and my Senate colleagues stand with me as I pursue my rights. I remain a candidate for the U.S. Senate."

Stevens, 84, the longest-serving Senate Republican in history, was convicted of failing to report more than $250,000 in gifts from friends, including Bill Allen, the former head of Veco Corp.

Stevens was expressionless and held his stomach as the verdict was read, The Hill reported.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan deferred sentencing until after Feb. 23. Stevens faces up to five years in prison on each count.

Stevens and his lawyers had argued Allen gave Stevens gifts he didn't want and was unaware of, and that he believed the $160,000 Stevens gave to another contractor covered the costs for all of the renovations on his home in Alaska.

Stevens, who resigned his leadership positions in the Senate when he was indicted in July, is up for re-election Nov. 4 against Democratic opponent Mark Begich, the mayor of Anchorage.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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