Trial pushed back for man charged with false bids

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal judge has delayed a trial for Tim DeChristopher, the college student charged with disrupting a federal lease auction for oil and gas drilling on public lands near Utah's national parks.

The trial was initially set for July 6, but U.S. District Judge Dee Benson pushed it back to Sept. 14.

Benson approved the delay at the request of DeChristopher's lawyers, who are busy writing pretrial motions and working up a response to the government's attempt to limit the scope of DeChristopher's defense.

That response is due Friday. Prosecutors are trying to block DeChristopher from arguing that he acted to protect wild lands from a December auction he considered illegitimate and was trying to block oil and gas drilling to focus attention on climate change.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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