Condit 'took and passed' lie detector test, claims lawyer

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The Independent US

The married American Congressman at the centre of the mystery of the missing Washington intern took and passed a lie-detector test, his lawyer said last night.

Abe Lowell said a test carried out by one of America's leading polygraph experts had cleared Gary Condit of any involvement in the disappearance of Chandra Levy, with who he was having an affair.

But a senior police official dismissed the lie-detector test as "self-serving" because it was done without police participation and because police had not seen the full results.

Mr Lowell said Mr Condit had answered "no" on three "substantive questions": did he have anything to do with Ms Levy's disappearance, did he cause her any harm and did he know where she was now? The test found he was telling the truth, he said. Mr Lowell said the result should allow focus to shift from Mr Condit's private life and concentrate more on the search for the missing intern, last seen 10 weeks ago.

That may not happen just yet. While observers agreed Mr Condit's position had been strengthened by the results, Mr Lowell refused to reveal all the questions to Mr Condit the answers he gave. The test was carried out privately by an expert chosen by Mr Condit's aides rather than by the FBI. Mr Lowell said the results would be passed to the FBI.

Washington's assistant chief of police, Terrance Gainer, said later that police would have to participate in the lie-detector test "for it to be really meaningful" and that it was administered in a "not-normal technique," in which the questioner was not given the full facts of the case. "This is a bit self-serving," Mr Gainer said.

In a separate development yesterday, it was claimed that Ms Levy had told a friend she was pregnant with Mr Condit's baby just days before she disappeared. The National Enquirer said the FBI was investigating the claim as part of its wider inquiry into her disappearance. The magazine quoted a source close to the investigation who said: "Authorities have information that Chandra told at least one friend that she was pregnant – and she said the baby was Condit's."

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