The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -A judgesays he's shocked by how attorneys for the District of Columbia have handled evidence in lawsuits from hundreds of protesters arrested during a demonstration at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said Wednesday he would impose "severe" financial sanctions on the city and urged the D.C. Council to investigate the attorney general's office.

Some evidence, such as radio transmissions, has disappeared. The city also recently turned over material that the protesters' attorneys were supposed to get years ago.

Sullivan made his comments at a hearing for two lawsuits that allege police violated demonstrators' rights when officers made mass arrests without warning in September 2002. Police later apologized.

Information from: The Washington Post,