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Stevens witness says testimony wasn't true

In a new twist in a case that has seen no shortage of unusual events, a key prosecution witness in the trial of Sen. Ted Stevens has written a letter to the judge saying that some of his testimony wasn't true and that he was coached in his answers by prosecutors.

David Anderson, a nephew and once-trusted employee of Veco chief executive Bill Allen, also said the government lied in a letter to Stevens' defense attorneys that described as false an affidavit signed by Anderson in March.

A copy of the affidavit, made public by defense attorneys Friday, showed that Anderson had asserted that government agents promised immunity to him and 12 other friends and relatives, including former Sen. Jerry Ward, if he cooperated in the FBI's investigation of public corruption in Alaska.

Ward appears to have been the beneficiary of an illegal campaign contribution by private prison advocate Bill Weimar, who was sentenced to six months in prison this week on a guilty plea to making the payment. Ward has not been charged. The recipient of Weimar's illegal $20,000 payment was identified in charging documents only as "Candidate A," but the description matched Ward.

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