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Federal court rejects bid to seal unclassified files in Atlanta terror case

[JURIST] A US federal court in Atlanta Thursday rejected a government motion to seal unclassified files in the trial of two men with alleged terrorism ties. US citizens Syed Ahmed, 21, a Georgia Tech student, and Ehsanul Sadequee, 20, an employee of the Atlanta based non-profit South Asian advocacy group Raksha [advocacy website] were arrested earlier this year [CNN report], and have been charged with providing material support to terrorists [18 US Code s. 2339a]. Both have pleaded not guilty, and their families have denied that the two have any ties to terrorism.

While the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia [official website] acknowledged the government's right to seal sensitive information when there is a compelling interest, the proposed protective order would have ultimately covered all filings in the case. In its ruling, the court gave a higher weight to the "qualified First Amendment right of access to criminal trial proceedings" that is possessed by the public and the press. AP has more.

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