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Two former Alaska state lawmakers could be released from prison soon after a federal appeals court Wednesday ordered their corruption convictions reviewed.


The orders were expected after the U.S. Justice Department last week concluded prosecutors improperly handled evidence in the 2007 trials of former Alaska House Speaker Pete Kott and former Rep. Vic Kohring, both Republicans.

U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick on Wednesday ordered U.S. marshals to transport Kott and Kohring from federal prisons to Anchorage as soon as is reasonable for bail hearings. Last week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder had asked that the former lawmakers be released on their own recognizance.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier in the day granted Kott's request for bail, subject to terms set by Sedwick. The judges ordered the immediate release of Kohring, again with Sedwick setting conditions.


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