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Padilla lawyers avoid sanctions for leaking wiretap transcript

[JURIST] US District Judge Marcia Clarke did not sanction a defense lawyer for alleged terrorist Jose Padilla [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] during Wednesday court hearings for violating a protective order that bars distribution of sensitive documents, but instead had all defense lawyers sign agreements not to leak any other protected documents. Clarke also threatened the press with contempt proceedings if any other documents are published. On Tuesday, prosecutors accused the defense of violating the protective order [JURIST report] by leaking court transcripts, leading to a January 4 New York Times report that found weaknesses in the wiretap evidence against Padilla. A defense lawyer admitted to the leak. AP has more.

Padilla, a US citizen initially suspected of planning to set off a radioactive "dirty bomb" [NRC factsheet] in the United States and classified in 2002 as an enemy combatant subject to indefinite detention, was indicted [JURIST report] in late 2005 on unrelated terrorism charges. He was transferred to civilian custody [JURIST report] in January of last year and has pleaded not guilty [JURIST report]. His trial is scheduled for April 16.

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