(AP) News organizations have again requested that a federal court release motions by Zacarias Moussaoui, the accused Sept. 11 conspirator acting as his own lawyer.
Lawyers for the organizations, which include The Associated Press, asked the U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema on Monday to release the filings, proposing that the government be allowed 10 days after a motion is filed to review it and withhold information deemed sensitive.
Brinkema ruled Aug. 29 that Moussaoui’s pleadings be kept under seal when they included “threats, racial slurs, calls to action, or other irrelevant and inappropriate language.” Many of Moussaoui’s court filings would qualify as such.
The order was issued after the Justice Department said Moussaoui’s motions might include coded messages to other al-Qaida members.
Arguing that the order was too broad and violated the First Amendment, the news organizations have said in court papers that “the press and public have both the constitutional and common-law right to access his pleadings except where compelling interests required otherwise.”
Other media organizations involved in the case are ABC, The Hearst Corpo., The New York Times Co., The Tribune Co., The Washington Post Co., and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.