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Justice Department moves to close Blackwater hearing

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The Justice Department has asked a judge to close a Jan. 7 hearing in the prosecution of five security guards…

The Justice Department has asked a judge to close a Jan. 7 hearing in the prosecution of five security guards charged with killing more than a dozen Iraqi civilians, The National Law Journal reported. The security guards worked for Blackwater Worldwide, now known as Xe, at the time of the shootings.

The government asked the U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina on Dec. 3 to close the hearing in order to “determine the use, relevance and admissibility of classified information in the prosecution,” the paper reported. It did so pursuant to the Classified Information Procedures Act, which governs how courts handle cases involving classified information.

Other hearings in the case have taken place behind closed doors. Urbina has refused requests from the defendants and The Washington Post to open other hearings in the case.