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Alaska court dismisses bid to halt Palin probe

world Updated: Oct 10, 2008 08:39 IST

AFP
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Alaska's Supreme Court has dismissed a bid by Republican lawmakers to halt an abuse of power investigation against Governor Sarah Palin, court officials said.

The lawmakers had sought to stop the "Troopergate" probe against Republican vice-presidential nominee Palin, claiming it was politically motivated.

However, in an 11-page order released on Thursday before the results of the probe into Palin's dismissal of a senior official were expected to be made public, the court said the investigation was "legitimate."

"It is legitimately within the scope of the legislature's investigatory power to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the termination of a public officer the legislature had previously confirmed," the court ruled.

Palin is being investigated over allegations she abused her position by replacing public safety commissioner Walt Monegan because he refused to sack a state trooper involved in a bitter divorce with her sister.

The probe was launched in July, roughly one month before Palin was unveiled as John McCain's shock choice for election running mate.

Five Alaska Republican lawmakers had attempted to have the inquiry halted on the grounds that it was being manipulated by state Democrats.

However the court said there was no evidence to suggest bias on the part of legislators overseeing the investigation.

"In this case the allegations of the appearance of partiality among the individuals involved in the investigation do not rise to the level of a constitutional violation," the order declared.