WASHINGTON, July 31 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he lied on financial disclosure forms and asked for a trial before the general election.
Stevens, the longest serving Republican in the Senate, appeared in U.S. District Court in Washington with his attorney asking for an expedited trial and that the proceedings be moved to Alaska, The Hill reported.
The trial is scheduled for Sept. 24, CNN reported.
"I appear here not to ask for any special favors," Stevens' attorney Brendan Sullivan said. "But I do want to ask the court that he would like to clear his name before the general election."
A federal grand jury in Washington Tuesday indicted Stevens on seven felony counts of making false statements on his disclosure forms from 1999-2002. Stevens, seeking an eighth term in November, is accused of not disclosing more than $250,000 in gifts and services from VECO Corp., an Alaskan oil services company that did renovations on his home.
Sullivan requested the change of venue to accommodate the majority of the 30-40 witnesses who are from Alaska.
The government asked that Stevens surrender his passport, The Hill reported.