A parade of powerful witnesses could testify in Stevens trial

UPDATE 9/22/08 1:33 p.m.: WASHINGTON (AP) -- A number of powerful witnesses could be called to testify in Alaska Senator Ted Stevens' corruption trial in Washington.

Senators Ted Kennedy and Patrick Leahy are among the more than 200 potential witnesses, as are former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Senator Orrin Hatch.

Stevens, the Republican with the most seniority in the Senate, is accused of lying on Senate financial disclosure forms about home renovations and gifts that he got from Bill Allen, the head of an oil contracting company.

Allen, who has already pleaded guilty to corruption charges, is considered the government's key witness against the six-term senator.

More than 180 potential jurors have been called to the court to answer a questionnaire and undergo further questioning by both sides in the trial. The jury could be in place in another day or so, with opening statements as early as Wednesday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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UPDATE 9/22/08 10:32 a.m. WASHINGTON (AP) -- Several powerful senators and former Secretary of State Colin Powell are among possible witnesses at the corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens.

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of the Alaska Republican. A federal judge listed dozens of people who might be called at the monthlong trial.

Among them are Democratic Sens. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Daniel Inoyue of Hawaii. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah is also on the list, as is Powell.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is in a Washington federal courtroom for the start of jury selection in his trial on corruption charges. The 150 members of the jury pool are filling out questionnaires before they will be questioned by lawyers in the case.

Stevens is charged with lying in his Senate financial disclosure records about hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and home renovations provided by an oil pipeline company. The six-term Republican says he is innocent and has paid every bill he has received.

He pushed for an early trial in the hopes that it would be over before the November 4th election.

Stevens is in a tough re-election race against Democrat Mark Begich, the mayor of Anchorage.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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