NEW YORK (AP) – A judge declined Wednesday to throw out perjury charges against the Secret Service ink expert who testified for the government at the Martha Stewart trial.

U.S. District Judge Denny Chin of Manhattan federal court also declined to move the trial of the expert, Larry Stewart, from New York to Washington, where he lives.

Larry Stewart, no relation to Martha Stewart, is accused of lying repeatedly on the witness stand during the trial, mainly by exaggerating his role in ink-analysis testing of a stock worksheet that was used as evidence.

Lawyers for Larry Stewart had argued that the issue of his personal involvement in the testing was not “material” to the jury’s verdict.

But Chin ruled the issue is “obviously something that would be significant to a jury, to the jury’s evaluation of the testimony, to the jury’s evaluation of the credibility.”

Martha Stewart and her former stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, were each sentenced to five months in prison and five months of house arrest for lying about a 2001 stock sale by the domestic entrepreneur.

Last Month, the judge at Martha Stewart’s trial, U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, declined a defense request to grant her a new trial because of the questions about the ink expert’s testimony.

Stewart and Bacanovic are free pending appeal.

AP-ES-08-11-04 1153EDT



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