Kohring plans to probe pressure to plead guilty

Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2007

ANCHORAGE - A former state lawmaker facing corruption charges plans to file a motion in federal court to review the relationship between the Justice Department and another state lawmaker who urged him to plead guilty, his attorney said Monday.

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Rep. Vic Kohring, a Wasilla Republican, has pleaded not guilty to federal bribery and extortion charges despite pressure from state Sen. Fred Dyson, defense attorney John Henry Browne said after a pretrial hearing for Kohring.

Browne said he learned only last week in a related trial that Dyson helped prosecutors persuade oil contractor Bill Allen to cooperate in an overarching corruption investigation.

He wants to know what motivated the Eagle River Republican to encourage Kohring to skip a trial. Dyson did not immediately return a call seeking comment Monday, but Browne said the senator has denied making the overture at the government's prompting.

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