Politics & Government

Justice department won't dismiss charges against Alaska lawmakers

The Justice Department has apparently decided to not dismiss charges against convicted legislators Pete Kott and Vic Kohring as it did for U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens earlier this year, and may fight efforts by the men to get new trials.

In status reports filed Friday in Anchorage, the prosecution and defense said they couldn't agree on how the cases against Kott and Kohring should proceed, leaving it for U.S. District Judge John Sedwick to decide later this year or in 2010.

Attorneys for Kott and Kohring had sought dismissal of all charges based on the failure of prosecutors to turn over evidence favorable to the men. The status reports show the Justice Department is not acquiescing to that dismissal demand, as it did for Stevens earlier this year.

The reports show that even on the question of whether the government's conduct prejudiced the jury against Kott and Kohring, prosecutors and defense attorneys are not in agreement.

The corruption cases ran into a wall when the Justice Department admitted it had broken court rules on the favorable evidence question in the trials of Stevens, Kott and Kohring.

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