NEW JERSEY — A federal judge presiding in the fraud trial of Eddie “Crazy Eddie” Antar has refused to unseal the names and addresses of jurors, purportedly to keep the press from interviewing them. Antar was convicted of securities fraud in late July.
On June 1, the day before trial, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Politan gagged the attorneys from talking with the media about the case. When jury selection began on June 2, Politan asked the press to leave the courtroom because there was not enough room in the courtroom for the jury pool. The media voluntarily left. The trial began on June 5 with the press in attendance.
During the second week of trial, an AP request for transcripts of jury selection went unanswered.
The AP informally requested the information from Politan on July 14th. The court did not respond, and Antar was convicted on July 20th. The AP filed a motion for the release of the names and addresses of the jurors on July 29th.
The AP argued in its brief accompanying its motion that it wanted to interview the jurors because the case is significant and has attracted public interest.
According to Editor & Publisher magazine, Politan has indicated he wants to prevent any reporting on how the jury came to its conclusions.
Antar has also sought release of the names, alleging he is being denied his Sixth Amendment right to a public trial.
The motion is set for oral argument in mid- October in Newark.
(U.S. v. Antar; Media Counsel: Richard O’Leary, Newark)