Stevens judge wants answers

Jan. 16, 2009 at 8:07 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The judge in the corruption case of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens has demanded answers from the U.S. Justice Department about a whistle-blower complaint.

The Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News reported Friday that by 5 p.m. Saturday, Attorney General Michael Mukasey or his designate must submit a declaration about who knew what and when about the whistle-blower status of an FBI agent who criticized the FBI's handling of the case.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan made the order Friday, the newspaper reported.

"This court is very sensitive to the extremely important, numerous and competing demands made on high-level government officials such as the attorney general, and therefore the court does not ordinarily burden officials at that level with matters that can be addressed by others," Sullivan wrote.

The judge's order came two days after federal prosecutors said Anchorage FBI agent Chad Joy will not get whistle-blower status.

Joy has alleged that fellow agent Mary Beth Kepner accepted "things of value" from witnesses in the case. He also accused Nicholas Marsh, a federal trial attorney with the Public Integrity Section, of trying to keep critical evidence and witnesses from the Stevens defense.

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