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'Danziger Bridge' leaks revisited

Nov. 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- A judge in New Orleans has ordered the Justice Department to reopen an investigation into leaks that may have influenced verdicts in the "Danziger Bridge" case.

U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt said a prior investigation was incomplete and suggested that prosecutors could be guilty of misconduct, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Monday.

Several New Orleans police officers pleaded guilty in 2010 to shooting civilians on the Danziger Bridge in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina or of involvement in the subsequent coverup.

Engelhardt rejected arguments from defense attorneys that the former officers should get new trials because of the leaks, some of which were posted anonymously on blogs by prosecutors in the case.

Defense attorneys charge that U.S. Attorney Jim Letten attempted to sway the attitudes of potential jurors before trial by engaging in a "secret public relations campaign."

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