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Ex-BP Engineer Claims Justice Department Withheld Evidence

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Former BP engineer Kurt Mix leaves the federal courthouse after a hearing Tuesday, April 24, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Former BP engineer Kurt Mix leaves the federal courthouse after a hearing Tuesday, April 24, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

NEW ORLEANS -- A former BP engineer charged with deleting text messages about the company's response to its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico claims that Justice Department prosecutors withheld evidence and should be sanctioned.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. didn't immediately rule Tuesday on whether sanctions are warranted after one of Kurt Mix's lawyers asked him to order prosecutors to turn over any evidence that could be favorable to his defense.

Mix's attorney claims prosecutors failed to turn over a Coast Guard record that could rebut allegations that Mix tried to conceal data about the rate that oil was flowing from BP's blown-out well.

A Justice Department attorney denied withholding evidence and offered to provide Mix's attorneys with roughly 37 million documents related to the investigation.

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