updated 6/16/2004 12:57:34 PM ET 2004-06-16T16:57:34

Secret Service ink expert Larry Stewart pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he lied repeatedly on the witness stand while testifying for the government at the Martha Stewart trial.

A federal judge set a Sept. 20 trial date for Larry Stewart, who was indicted earlier this month on two counts of perjury.

Martha Stewart and former stockbroker Peter Bacanovic, both convicted in March of lying about a stock sale, have asked for a new trial based on the charges against Larry Stewart — who is not related to the homemaking icon.

Prosecutors say Larry Stewart lied when he testified that he had participated in ink-analysis testing of a stock portfolio worksheet prepared by Bacanovic that was used as evidence in the case.

The government contends that Larry Stewart also lied when he said he was familiar with a proposal for a book about ink analysis that was to be written by two other Secret Service workers.

Larry Stewart, wearing an American flag pin on his lapel, entered his plea in a brief hearing in Manhattan federal court.

Outside court, his lawyer Judith Wheat said he was accurate when he testified that he “observed, participated and reviewed” the testing of the worksheet.

“He stands behind the work he did in this case, and he stands behind the testimony he gave in this case,” Wheat said. “It may be the government just is not aware of all the things that Mr. Stewart did.”

Wheat told U.S. District Judge Denny Chin she planned to ask him to move the trial from New York to Washington, D.C., where Larry Stewart and many of the potential witnesses live.

“I can’t imagine I would grant the motion” because the alleged crime happened in Manhattan, not Washington, Chin said.

Larry Stewart remains on administrative leave from the Secret Service, Wheat said.

Martha Stewart and Bacanovic were convicted March 5 of lying about why she sold 3,298 shares of ImClone Systems Inc. stock in December 2001, just before the price plunged.

Each filed a motion for a new trial last week, citing the perjury charges against Larry Stewart. Prosecutors say the charges do not undermine the convictions.

The motions are considered long shots by legal experts, partly because Bacanovic was acquitted of a charge of falsifying documents — the count at the heart of Larry Stewart’s testimony.

U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, who is considering the new-trial motions, is scheduled to sentence Martha Stewart and Bacanovic on July 8. Each is expected to get 10 to 16 months in prison.

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