Sen. Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican on trial for corruption, did not know an oil industry contractor was paying for improvements to his home, Stevensї defense attorney contended in his opening statement Thursday, reported CNN.
Stevens, 84, a veteran lawmaker who helped Alaska win statehood, is accused of failing to declare hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gifts as required by Senate rules.
Prosecutor Brenda Morris told the jury Stevens їschemed to conceal from the publicї what she portrayed as їmore than a quarter million dollars in benefits.ї
Prosecutors say he failed to report extensive renovations to his home that were arranged by Veco Corporation ї an energy services company that was one of the stateїs biggest employers. He is not accused of taking bribes.