Judge orders release of Rosenbergs info

July 23, 2008 at 7:40 AM

NEW YORK, July 23 (UPI) -- A federal judge in New York has released secret grand jury testimony in the 1950s spying case against Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

The Rosenbergs were executed in 1953 after being found guilty of passing nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union. Some historians have had doubts about the strength of the evidence, especially against Ethel Rosenberg, and sought the release of the grand jury transcripts, CNN reported.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein ordered most of the transcripts released at the request of such Cold War historians as the National Security Archive, the American Historical Association and the Georgetown University Law Center.

Hellerstein, however, kept some of transcripts sealed because witnesses who are alive objected to the request or because some witnesses couldn't be found.

The judge urged U.S. attorneys to find the remaining witnesses, saying, "Time is precious to those who research. The public interest is best satisfied by the prompt and proper release of information," CNN reported.

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