RealNews

Court upholds secrecy in hearings for Va. man held in Hamas case

Privacy more crucial than public access, judge says. A federal judge upheld yesterday the government’s right to impose secrecy in court proceedings for Ismail Selim Elbarasse, the Virginia man who has not been charged with a crime but is being held in Baltimore as a material witness in a Chicago case involving the militant group Hamas. In his ruling, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul W. Grimm said that in this case the importance of grand jury confidentiality trumps the public’s right to access – a stance that continues a national pattern of secrecy surrounding these types of witnesses. “I am mindful of the extraordinarily important issues here,” the judge said in denying a request by The Sun and The Washington Post to open a planned detention hearing for Elbarasse. “It is a very close issue.” Full Story

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