Weyhrauch seeks trial delay; prosecutors object

Posted: Thursday, June 07, 2007

Former state Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch, R-Juneau, is asking for court delays that could push his trial on federal corruption charges into the fall.

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Weyhrauch, who represented Juneau in the Alaska Legislature from 2002 to 2006, was arrested by FBI agents May 3, after being indicted on charges of bribery, extortion and wire fraud.

The trial had previously been scheduled July 9 in Anchorage.

Weyhrauch entered a plea of not guilty and was released on $20,000 unsecured bond.

Also indicted was former Rep. Pete Kott, R-Eagle River. He and Weyhrauch were alleged to have conspired to pass an oil tax bill supported by VECO Corp.

Rep. Vic Kohring, R-Wasilla, was indicted separately on bribery charges.

Two executives of VECO Corp. pleaded guilty to offering bribes to the three former legislators and are awaiting sentencing. Federal officials said those sentences will hinge on their agreeing to testify against the politicians.

Federal prosecutors opposed the delays, according to Douglas Pope, Wey-hrauch's attorney, in court filings.

Pope has asked on Weyhrauch's behalf for a trial date of no later than Sept. 4, with a schedule of deadlines for pretrial filings leading up to that date.

Another former legislator, Rep. Tom Anderson, R-Anchorage, was indicted on separate corruption charges by the same U.S. Department of Justice team that investigated Weyhrauch, Kott and Kohring.

Anderson has also pleaded not guilty, and his defense attorney said the federal government has provided the defense with lengthy audio and video recordings that are part of the evidence.

Anderson requested trial delays to review that material.

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