by Jill Burke
Thursday, October 9, 2008
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Ted Stevens' defense team will now have its turn to try to convince jurors he's an innocent man.
Prosecutors say Stevens lied about hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of home renovations and other gifts he received. But now it will be Stevens' turn to cast things in a different light.
The senator's defense team is calling in a cast of characters to testify, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye. They will also bring in Alaska singer Hobo Jim and sled dog racers to help his case.
On the stand Thursday, Sen. Inouye told war stories. He spoke of his and Stevens' 40-year history as both colleagues and friends. He also vouched for Stevens' honesty and his integrity.
Stevens' word is "good as far as I'm concerned," Inouye said. "Good enough to take to the bank."
The three Alaskans testifying, Dean Osmar, Dave Monson, and Jim Vargas told a sled dog tale. They were called by the defense to tell the story of how an auctioned puppy became the senator's pet, and to show that prosecutors -- who say the dog was worth $1,000 -- are way off the mark.