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The BBC's Stephen Sackur
"The Congressman has passed the lie detector test"
 real 56k

Friday, 13 July, 2001, 10:45 GMT 11:45 UK
Search for missing intern expands
Washington police use cadaver dogs to search for missing intern Chandra Levy
Police used specially trained dogs
Washington police are expanding their search for missing intern Chandra Levy, as federal officials try to determine whether Congressman Gary Condit, who is thought to have had an affair with her, has obstructed justice.

Police have been re-interviewing people at Ms Levy's apartment building and on Thursday began a search of abandoned buildings in Washington.


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

Terrance Gainer
Deputy police chief
Mr Condit is facing investigation for possible obstruction of justice over a claim by an air stewardess that he asked her to lie about an affair. The stewardess, Anne Marie Smith, has been questioned by authorities for a second time.

The FBI has also questioned a Pentecostal minister in California who says that Mr Condit once had an affair with his daughter when she was 18, although she denies it.

Police are awaiting FBI laboratory tests to see if items removed on Tuesday from Mr Condit's apartment contained blood.

Police still insist that Mr Condit is not a suspect and that they are treating the disappearance as a missing persons case. Ms Levy has been missing since 30 April.

Polygraph

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

Chandra Levy
Ms Levy was last seen on 30 April
Mr Condit has complied with the investigation, and says he will undergo both tests.

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".

Three interviews

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

Investigators remove material from Gary Condit's home
Police are examining items from Mr Condit's home
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.

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.

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See also:

13 Jul 01 | Americas
Mystery overwhelms US airwaves
11 Jul 01 | Americas
Congressman under the spotlight
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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