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21 Dec 2009

Mike Scarella, National Law Journal

[US Department of Justice] Urges Closed Hearing in Blackwater Criminal Case

The Justice Department wants to bar the public from a court hearing Jan. 7 in the Blackwater criminal case in federal district court in Washington, D.C., saying that the proceeding may result in the disclosure of classified information. The government filed a motion Dec. 3…so that the court can determine the use, relevance and admissibility of classified information in the prosecution of five Blackwater security guards, who are charged in the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians…Earlier this month, Judge Ricardo Urbina said the hearing will be held in camera if Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. certified to the court that the proceeding may result in the disclosure of classified information.