Monthly Archives: July 2008

Alaskan Senator Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens Indicted by Federal Grand Jury

It’s always good to see justice catch up with a corrupt politician – regardless of their party affiliation:

In a 28-page indictment from a federal grand jury, Stevens was charged with seven counts of making false statements on his Senate financial forms.

Federal investigators had been looking into improvements made to his home in Alaska.

Stevens has been the subject of a wide-ranging federal investigation focusing on Alaska state lawmakers and an energy company in the state. FBI agents searched his Alaska home in July 2007.

You may remember that his home was raided just about a year ago:

Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in history, is under scrutiny from the Justice Department for his ties to an Alaska energy services company, Veco, whose chief executive pleaded guilty in early May to a bribery scheme involving state lawmakers.

Contractors have told a federal grand jury that in 2000, Veco executives oversaw a lavish remodeling of Stevens’s house in Girdwood, an exclusive ski resort area 40 miles from Anchorage, according to statements by the contractors.

The indictment concerns seven “false statements” related to the remodeling of his home:

From May 1999 to August 2007, prosecutors said Stevens concealed “his continuing receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value from a private corporation.” The indictment released Tuesday said the items included: home improvements to his vacation home in Alaska, including a new first floor, garage, wraparound deck, plumbing, electrical wiring; as well as car exchanges, a Viking gas grill, furniture and tools.

No comment, yet, from the Senator or his staff:

The Department of Justice has announced a 1:20 p.m. ET press conference to discuss the details. Stevens’ Washington office is shut down right now and no one is answering phone calls, and a spokesman in Alaska declined to answer questions.

I think rendition to Egypt sounds like fair treatment for the senator.

Yemeni Journalist Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani’s Appeal Postponed Until November

A minor setback for Jane Novak’s effort to free Yemeni journalist Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani:

The Court of Appeals, specialized in terrorism issues, delayed looking into a request by the defense lawyer of journalist Abdul-Karim al-Khaiwani to release him until November 2008.

The court took the decision in an appeal session on Tuesday on the case of 15 people, called Sana’a Second Cell, convicted by a primary court of forming an armed group to attack country’s interests and supporting rebels in Sa’ada, north of Yemen.

The first convict Jafar al-Marhabi was sentenced to death and other 13 were sentenced to different terms in jail. Al-Khaiwani was sentenced to six years term in jail over “writing articles against the president and possessing CDs supporting al-Houthi’s rebellion and threatening the country’s interests”. The court quitted one of the convicts after he died inside the detention unit.

Jane, who blogs at Armies of Liberation, sent the following message via Facebook this morning:

What a disaster! Al-Khaiwani’s appeal is postponed until November. Even the court says he was sentenced to jail for writing articles. He is doing well, but I’m concerned for his health. Any ideas? There’s over 300 of us, what can we do as a group that would bring pressure or attention on the regime and the case?

One thing you can do to help is join the Campaign For a Free Media in Yemen group on Facebook. It has additional links to an online letter writing campaign and supportive bloggers.