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February 04, 2013

Media arguments set for Chandra Levy case

A #judge will hear #media attorneys argue Wednesday for open proceedings in the Chandra Levy murder mystery.

The 2:30 p.m. hearing at D.C. Superior Court, made public on the court's docket Monday afternoon, will give attorneys representing the Associated Press, Gannett, McClatchy, the Washington Post and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press make the case for open proceedings.

The U.S. Attorney's Office, so far with the support of Superior Court Judge Gerald I. Fisher, argues that the latest case developments must remain secret because of safety concerns. Consequently, what happened at hearings conducted on Dec. 18 and Jan. 4 remain sealed.

What's known, so far, is that prosecutors brought to the judge's attention information potentially undermining the credibility of one of the government's witnesses in the 2010 trial of accused killer Ingmar Guandique. The identify of the witness, the nature of the information and its potential impact on the case's outcome remain a secret, so far.

Attorneys with the firm WilmerHale will be representing the media organizations. The next day, Feb. 7, a follow-up hearing is scheduled on the underlying witness issue; whether this hearing is open or closed could well depend on what happens Feb. 6. The hearing Feb. 7 has been moved to a criminal courtroom, apparently to accommodate Guandique's potential presence.





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"Suits & Sentences" is a legal affairs blog written by Michael Doyle, a reporter for McClatchy's Washington Bureau. He was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Yale Law School, where he earned a Master of Studies in Law; he also earned a Masters in Government from The Johns Hopkins University with a thesis on the Freedom of Information Act. He teaches journalism as an adjunct instructor at The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs.

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