Judge Dismisses Charges Against Stevens

A federal judge has dismissed corruption charges against former Sen. Ted Stevens and opened a criminal investigation into prosecutors who mishandled the case.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said the misconduct was the most serious he has ever seen in nearly 25 years on the bench. He appointed attorney Henry Schulke as special prosecutor to investigate the Justice Department team for possible criminal contempt charges.

Sullivan made the unusual move Tuesday shortly before dismissing corruption charges against Stevens. Stevens was convicted in October of seven counts of lying about gifts he received from wealthy friends.

An Alaska Republican, Stevens narrowly lost his re-election bid shortly after the verdict.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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