The trial of two former staffers in the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC will begin on April 25th, four months later than the original date set for January 3rd.
The US District Court in Alexandria Virginia determined Wednesday new dates for the trial and accepted requests of both sides to begin the trial at a later date in order to have sufficient time to deal with issues of classified information before trial begins.
The two former AIPAC employees - Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman - were indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly receiving classified defense information from Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin and passing it on to Israeli diplomats in Washington, as well as to members of the press and other individuals.
Judge T.S. Ellis announced Wednesday that the prosecution was not obliged to make all evidence in the case available for the defense.
He denied the request of Rosen and Weissman's attorneys to receive all the surveillance recordings in which the two defendants were recorded and ruled that there was a "valid and appropriate" issue of national security that prevents granting the defense access to all the recordings. Judge Ellis will determine, with the prosecution, what evidence will be available for the defense.
Abbe Lowell, the attorney representing Steve Rosen said on Wednesday that he was pleased that the court "understands the complexities involved in providing our clients with the right for a fair trial".