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Federal prosecutor takes on book publisher

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  1. Libel and Privacy
Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who is certainly no stranger to the news media, has threatened to sue HarperCollins for false…

Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who is certainly no stranger to the news media, has threatened to sue HarperCollins for false light or libel if it publishes a new edition of Peter Lance’s “Triple Cross, How Bin Laden’s Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets, and the FBI."

Fitzgerald, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, explained his position to The Associated Press: "The book lied about the facts and alleged that I deliberately misled the courts and the public in ways that in part caused the deaths in the 1998 embassy bombing attacks and in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001." Lance counters that Fitzgerald is just trying to get the text suppressed.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Fitzgerald has been attempting since 2007 to stop HarperCollins from publishing the new version of the 2006 book. The Sun-Times reported that the book accuses the Chicago-based lawyer of, among other things, "discrediting" evidence against al Qaeda while he handled terrorism cases in New York.

At this point, Fitzgerald has not filed a lawsuit, the AP said; the new edition of the book is scheduled to be released June 16.