Cameras barred from ‘high-profile’ trial in CIA shootings
VIRGINIA–Cameras will not be permitted at the November trial of Mir Aimal Kansi, a Pakistani man accused of killing two CIA employees outside the agency’s Langley headquarters in January 1993.
Fairfax Circuit Court Judge J. Howe Brown, Jr. in early June banned both still and television cameras from the courtroom, finding the “high-profile nature” of the case made televising it inappropriate, according to The Washington Post. Brown also expressed concern for witnesses’ safety, and said he did not want their photographs to be disseminated throughout the world, the Post reported.
Although the court granted the defense’s motion to exclude cameras, he denied its request for a complete gag order that would have prohibited any official from talking to the press about the case.
Such an order would have been virtually impossible to enforce, Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Horan, Jr. argued, noting that even President Clinton has spoken about the case. Brown said that he would consider a more narrowly structured gag order if the defense submitted one.
Attorneys arguing on behalf of Fox, the Courtroom Television Network, the Washington Post, and two local television stations, argued that television would be the public’s sole access to the proceedings, and thus should be permitted. (Virginia v. Kansi; Media Counsel: Dane Butswinkas, Fairfax)