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U.S. Loses Key Appeal In AIPAC Staffers’ Case

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Purveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-09 06:43 PM
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U.S. Loses Key Appeal In AIPAC Staffers’ Case
Source: JTA

February 24, 2009

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- An appeals court rejected the prosecution's bid to overturn tough restrictions on what it must prove in the classified information case against two former AIPAC staffers.

The decision Tuesday by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., keeps in place orders by the federal judge trying the case. T.S. Ellis III had ruled that the prosecution must prove the information allegedly relayed to journalists, Israeli diplomats and colleagues by AIPAC's Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman was "closely held" by the United States and potentially damaging to U.S. interests, and was relayed in bad faith.

Observers have predicted that the appeals court decision could lead the Obama administration to reconsider whether to go ahead with the case.

The three-judge appeals court panel called the U.S. government's effort to overturn Ellis' decision, handed down in 2006 in an opinion that rejected a defense motion to dismiss, as "improper." Pretrial prosecution appeals in classified information cases are meant to strictly address questions of which classified evidence is admissible, the appeals court said, calling the attempt to reverse a major decision "piggybacking."

Read more: http://jta.org/news/article/2009/02/24/1003244/appeals-...
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-24-09 10:10 PM
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1. Two ex-AIPAC lobbyists charged with divulging defense secrets win court ruling
AP story as reported by Haaretz.

Last update - 02:41 25/02/2009

Two ex-AIPAC lobbyists charged with divulging defense secrets win court ruling

By The Associated Press


A federal appeals court in Virginia says two men accused of illegally disclosing national defense secrets can use some classified information at their trial.

Tuesday's ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirms a decision by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III.

Steven Rosen and Keith Wiessman are former lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. They were charged in 2005 with conspiring to obtain classified reports on U.S. policy and sharing them with reporters and foreign diplomats.

A three-judge panel of the Richmond-based appeals court said last year's ruling by Ellis sought to protect the defendants' rights while also preventing the unnecessary disclosure of classified information.

The indictment alleges that Rosen and Weissman conspired to obtain, and then disclosed, classified reports on issues relevant to American policy, including the al-Qaida terror network; the bombing of the Khobar Towers dormitory in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 U.S. Air Force personnel; and U.S. policy in Iran.

The trial, postponed at least nine times as the defense and prosecutors wrangled over the handling of classified information and other pretrial issues, is now set for April 21 in federal court in Alexandria.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1066802.html
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