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Policeman check in Obama uncle case

Lawyers defending US president Barack Obama's uncle against drink-driving charges are reviewing the motoring records of the police officer who arrested him.

Onyango Obama, an illegal immigrant, appeared briefly at Framingham District Court in Massachusetts as his lawyer told a judge he has obtained the driving history of the officer who stopped Mr Obama in Framingham in August.

Officer Val Krishtal said in a written police report that he stopped Mr Obama after he failed to come to a complete halt at a stop sign, causing his police cruiser to nearly strike Obama's SUV.

Mr Krishtal said Obama failed several field sobriety tests and registered 0.14 on a blood-alcohol test, higher than the state's legal limit of 0.08.

Mr Obama's attorney, P Scott Bratton, said he is reviewing Mr Krishtal's driving records to see whether the officer has a history of accidents. Mr Bratton has said previously that Mr Obama was not committing any traffic violations and police had no right to pull him over.

He is seeking to suppress the traffic stop and the results of the blood-alcohol test. A judge will hear arguments on those motions on March 1.

"We want to review the record to see if there is a pattern of conduct of bad driving behaviour on the part of the arresting officer," Mr Bratton said.

Mr Krishtal wrote off his police cruiser in November while responding to reports of gunshots. Framingham police declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said prosecutors were not opposed to turning over the records. Mr Bratton said a lawyer for the town of Framingham provided the records.

Mr Obama, 67, was initially held without bail on a detainer from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement on allegations that he violated an order to return to Kenya 20 years ago. He was later released and has been ordered to regularly check in with immigration officials. The White House has said it expects Mr Obama's arrest to be handled like any other case.

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