Judge in trial of former AIPAC staffers rips prosecution for delays
Trial against Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, accused of passing on classified information, set back.
By JERUSALEM POST CORRESONDENT
May 3, 2007 21:40
1 minute read.
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The judge in the trial against former AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) staffers sternly chastised the prosecution Wednesday for delaying the trial, after the government asked for more time to decide how it would proceed in the case.
The prosecution's request set back the expected start of the trial against Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, accused of passing on classified information, well past its scheduled start of June 4.
After it lost a bid last month to seal most of the trial from the public, the prosecution had been expected to tell the court on Wednesday which intelligence evidence it would likely use or to appeal the judge's ruling against keeping the trial secret.
The government had argued the proceedings should be closed on national security grounds, but Federal Judge T.S. Ellis III refused the request.
Prosecutors said Wednesday they needed more time to consult with the many government agencies involved in providing the intelligence over which sensitive material can be presented in a public trial. If they decide no new information can be revealed, it could jeopardize their ability to build a case against Rosen and Weissman.
Ellis set a new deadline of May 21 for the government to respond. He warned that further delays could also jeopardize their case.
"These people have sat around indicted for years. These agencies have got to get with it," Ellis said. "You've got to do it. It's a matter of devoting the resources and attention to it." The judge warned that there could be consequences for the prosecution if it did not do as he told them.
Rosen, former AIPAC foreign policy chief, and Weissman, AIPAC's former Iran analyst, were indicted two years ago.