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California Briefing / Camp Pendleton

Request for TV footage is denied

March 13, 2009|Tony Perry

A military judge on Thursday refused a request from prosecutors for access to un-aired portions of a CBS "60 Minutes" interview with Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich for use in Wuterich's court-martial stemming from the killing of civilians in Haditha, Iraq.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Meeks sided with the network and quashed the prosecutors' subpoena. Prosecutors had argued that laws shielding reporters from disclosing unpublished or un-aired portions of interviews do not apply to military court.

Wuterich is charged with voluntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and dereliction of duty stemming from a Nov. 19, 2005, shooting in which 24 civilians were killed.

Of eight Marines charged in the incident, only Wuterich has yet to have his case resolved. Six Marines had the charges dismissed, and one was found not guilty.

The Marine Corps is appealing a judge's order dismissing charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, the battalion commander.


-- Tony Perry

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