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No TV for terror trial - Broadcasting & Cable

No TV for terror trial

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The trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, accused of being an accessory in the
Sept. 11 terrorist acts against the United States, will not be televised
following a ruling by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema.

Attorney Lee Levine, representing Courtroom Television Network, which
petitioned the federal court, said following the ruling that the judge had
expressed some security concerns and seemed unwilling to overturn a ban on
cameras in the federal courtroom.

'Essentially,' Levine said, 'she ruled that it is up to Congress, and not her
as a trial judge, to change the rules.'

The Department of Justice, arguing against televising
the trial, had contended that such a broadcast could prompt al Qaeda to
retaliate versus witnesses against its operatives.

In a prepared statement, Court TV chairman and CEO Henry Schleiff responded, 'We
understand and fully endorse Judge Brinkema's judgment that the issue of camera
access in federal courts most properly belongs before the United States
Congress. Given the growing public consensus and favorable experience in the
majority of states that allow cameras in their courtrooms, we are optimistic
that the United States Congress will soon pass legislation permitting cameras in
our federal courts.'

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