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The BBC's Stephen Sackur
"The congressman promised full co-operation with the police"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 11 July, 2001, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Congressman under the spotlight
Gary Condit
Police are not treating Gary Condit as a suspect
Police in Washington are examining items taken during a search of the home of a United States congressman as part of their efforts to find missing intern Chandra Levy.

Investigators say it is too early to say whether forensic tests on material removed from Gary Condit's apartment on Tuesday night will prove useful in their inquiries.

What you're looking for could involve blood, hair, telltale signs of a struggle

Terrance Gainer
Deputy police chief
Washington Police Chief Charles Ramsay also reiterated that his department is prepared to give the 53-year-old Democratic congressman a lie detector test, and take samples of his DNA.

Mr Condit has complied with the investigation, and says he will undergo both tests. Police say he is not a suspect, and say they are still treating the case as a missing person's case.

The congressman has admitted to having a relationship with 24-year old Ms Levy, who vanished at the end of April.

On Tuesday, Mr Condit's lawyers said he would provide a DNA sample, and would undertake the polygraph test only if it was limited to "one or two simple questions".

Police Chief Ramsay said a lie detector test would "provide details of the exact nature of the relationship [and] any locations he feels she might want to go".


The BBC's Stephen Sackur in Washington says the politician - who has been questioned a number of times - is now at the centre of the investigation after weeks of prevarication and denial.

Investigators remove material from Gary Condit's home
Investigators are looking for clues to Ms Levy's disappearance
Ms Levy's family has mounted a high-profile campaign to find her and has criticised the congressman, who represents the part of California she comes from.

Mr Condit had been doing all he could to maintain his privacy, studiously trying to keep out of the glare of publicity surrounding the case.

Police have so far interviewed Mr Condit three times, apparently in an effort to get to the bottom of his relationship with Ms Levy.

Sources within the police have been quoted by US media as saying that in the third interview, Mr Condit finally admitted he was having a romantic relationship with Ms Levy at the time of her disappearance.


The congressman, who is married with two grown-up children, had until then insisted the young woman was merely a friend.

Chandra Levy
Despite huge publicity, her whereabouts are unknown
Ms Levy had just finished working as a volunteer for the Federal Bureau of Prisons when she vanished.

Ms Levy's mother has accused Mr Condit of being not very truthful with her, and had called for him to take the lie detector test.

The publicity surrounding the relationship between the congressman and the volunteer has kept the case in the public eye, but despite this police appear no nearer to finding out what has happened to Ms Levy.

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See also:

11 Jul 01 | Americas
Chandra Levy: Accusation and denial
09 Jul 01 | Americas
Intern's parents 'doubt congressman'
22 Jun 01 | Americas
Missing intern link to congressman
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