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Judge tosses prosecution evidence

File photo of Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) dated October 1, 2008. (UPI Photo/Yuri Gripas)
File photo of Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) dated October 1, 2008. (UPI Photo/Yuri Gripas) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The federal judge hearing the Washington trial of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens Wednesday tossed out key prosecution evidence but refused to declare a mistrial.

It was the second time Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has turned down a defense plea for a mistrial or dismissal of the seven felony counts against the 84-year-old Alaska Republican. However, the judge laid into government attorneys for not turning over all evidence to the defense in a timely manner, The Hill reported.

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"I don't doubt you take your jobs seriously, what I have doubts about is whether the government (is concerned) about its obligation," Sullivan said.

The judge, saying he was "disturbed" by the prosecutors' behavior, threw out evidence regarding remodeling work done by two men on Stevens' home in Girdwood, Alaska, as well as information about an exchange of cars between the senator and businessman Bill Allen.

"It's very troubling that the government would utilize the records that the government knows were false," Sullivan said. "And there's just no excuse for that whatsoever."

Sullivan said he will tell the jury Thursday about the government's failure to provide the key evidence to the defense and to ignore testimony about the car exchange and records pertaining to the renovation work.

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The prosecution is expected to rest Thursday.

Stevens, who is seeking re-election Nov. 4, has pleaded not guilty to charges he failed to disclose more than $250,000 in gifts and home renovations from friends on Senate financial disclosure forms.

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