Shurtleff joins prosecutors in demanding Justice Dept. hand over evidence

Posted at 9:48 AM, Oct 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-06 11:48:34-04

SALT LAKE CITY — In an unusual move, former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is siding with the people prosecuting him in their demand that federal authorities hand over evidence.

In a court filing on Monday, Shurtleff’s legal team joined with prosecutors to demand the U.S. Justice Department hand over evidence in the corruption case against him. They pointed out at the feds declined to prosecute him, but still hold evidence in the case.

“Mr. Shurtleff cannot receive a fair trial if the federal government denies access to evidence reasonably necessary to the preparation of his defense… consistent with principles of state and federal due process, Mr. Shurtleff should be entitled to receive any evidence that tends to show his innocence or undermines the credibility of the witnesses against him, even if the evidence is in the possession of the federal government,” attorney Samuel Alba wrote.

Ahead of a court hearing last week, Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings filed a motion complaining that the Justice Department was withholding evidence and asked the judge to assert control and order it to be released.  A judge has scheduled a December hearing on the issue.

Mark Shurtleff and his successor, John Swallow, are facing corruption-related charges, accused of accepting trips, gifts and donations from people facing investigation by the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

Read the motion by Shurtleff’s lawyers here: