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Court dismisses bid to halt Palin probe

world Updated: Oct 11, 2008 00:23 IST

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Alaska’s Supreme Court on Thursday 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 a two-page order released the day 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 could go ahead.

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

In an earlier ruling, a lower court found there was no evidence to suggest bias on the part of legislators overseeing the probe.

The inquiry was launched following a unanimous bipartisan vote on July 28, and Palin had initially said she and all state employees would co-operate. However, since her unveiling as McCain’s running mate, Palin and several members of her staff have refused to be questioned, with her campaign branding the probe as “partisan and tainted.”

On Wednesday, a 25-page affidavit by Palin’s husband Todd revealed he had sought the dismissal of the state trooper at the center of the case. However he denied attempting to influence his wife, revealing she had eventually told him to “drop” the matter.

“Anyone who knows Sarah knows she is the governor and she calls the shots,” Todd Palin said in his affidavit.