Perjury Charge For Stewart Trial Witness

Secret Service lab director facing two felony counts

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Perjury Charge For Stewart Trial Witness

MAY 21--In an embarrassing blow to federal investigators, a Secret Service official has been charged with perjury in connection with his testimony during the Martha Stewart trial.

Forensic scientist Larry Stewart, a 46-year-old ink expert, allegedly made two false statements during his February testimony, according to a criminal complaint unsealed today. Despite the charges against the Secret Service lab director, U.S. Attorney David Kelley contended that the convictions of Stewart and broker Peter Bacanovic should not be impacted by the new case, in part because Bacanovic was acquitted of the felony count that hinged on Larry Stewart's testimony.

The veteran Secret Service official--he's worked for the government since 1982--testified that a notation ("@60") on a Bacanovic worksheet was written in a different ink than other entries on the document. Prosecutors alleged that Bacanovic retroactively added the notation to bolster his claim that he and Stewart had agreed to sell the homemaking queen's ImClone stake if the stock dropped below $60 a share.

The perjury charges against Larry Stewart do not deal with his testimony about the "@60" notation, but rather with his statements about the extent of his personal involvement in lab tests on the Bacanovic document and his knowledge of a book proposal prepared by two other Secret Service employees. (14 pages)