Military Court Prevails in Appeal for 60 Minutes Footage

Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals rules that CBS News should hand over outtakes from ‘The Killings in Haditha.’
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A military appeals court is seeking outtake interviews from a 60 Minutesreport on the killing of Iraqi civilians, including women and children, in Haditha in 2005.

The 60 Minutes broadcast, “The Killings in Haditha,” which aired in August 2007, was framed around an interview with Staff Sgt. Frank Wulterich, who faces life in a military prison for the death of 18 civilians.

Last week, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that CBS News should hand over the outtakes to military prosecutors. The network will appeal the ruling, CBS News said.

News divisions are routinely the targets of legal requests for outtake footage. The practice throughout the industry is to deny those requests as a matter of news-division policy.

The latest legal twist came after a military judge ruled in CBS News’ favor in February, saying that the news division was not obligated to share its interview footage with government prosecutors.

The 60 Minutes broadcast -- which was fronted by Scott Pelley and recently won a Peabody Award -- is one of multiple examinations by the news media of the Haditha massacre.

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