Kohring says Bill Allen's sex case tainted testimony in corruption trial

The Anchorage Daily NewsSeptember 9, 2010 

Former Veco Corp. chief Bill Allen was susceptible to pressure by federal prosecutors to testify against politicians accused of corruption because of a "looming child sex investigation," convicted Alaska legislator Vic Kohring argues in his appeal.

Kohring, a Republican from Wasilla, and Pete Kott, a former House Speaker from Eagle River, both have filed new appeals before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Both include the sexual misconduct allegations against Allen as among the reasons their cases should be dismissed. Oral arguments are scheduled for Oct. 6 in Seattle.

When Kohring and Kott underwent separate trials in 2007, they knew little about criminal investigations of Allen involving sex with underage girls. Kohring was convicted of conspiracy, bribery and attempted extortion. Kott was convicted of conspiracy, bribery and extortion.

Allen was the government's star witness, and his credibility was key to the prosecution case. Among other appeal points, the former legislators' argue that jurors might have reached different verdicts if damaging information about Allen had been revealed during the trials.

Prosecutors shared details about Allen and underage girls with the legislators' defense lawyers only after the collapse of the 2008 conviction of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. His case was thrown out for prosecutorial misconduct. Prosecutors generally are required to provide defense lawyers with evidence that could help their side but improperly withheld thousands of pages of documents before Kott and Kohring's corruption trials, the defense lawyers argue.

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