WASHINGTON (CNN) - Indicted Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of scheming to conceal thousands of dollars worth of gifts from an oil-services company.
His lawyer requested that the trial be moved to Alaska from Washington, and that it take place before November because Stevens is up for re-election.
"I want to make a request if at all possible that the trial be in October so that he can clear his name before the general elections," said the attorney, Brendan Sullivan.
He proposed moving the trial to Alaska because a majority of the witnesses are there and the events in question took place there.
Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is not related to Stevens' attorney, said he thought Washington is an appropriate location for the trial but that he will entertain a motion to move it to Alaska.
Stevens was indicted Tuesday on seven counts of filing false reports on his mandatory Senate financial disclosure forms.
The federal indictment says Veco Energy paid for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of work on Stevens' home over a period of about seven years, and Stevens failed to report it.
Stevens, 84, the longest-serving Republican in Senate history, has not spoken during the hearing; his attorney entered the not-guilty plea on his behalf.
Dressed in a light gray suit, Stevens seemed relaxed before the hearing began and smiled after he sat down at the defense table to chat with his legal team.
Two benches in the federal district courthouse were filled by reporters from television, radio and wire services.