Journalists Prevented by Gag Order from Interviewing Accused Would-Be Presidential Assassin
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Reporters covering the trial of a man accused of plotting to blow up George W. Bush cannot interview the alleged assassin, a federal appeals court ruled this week.
Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a Saudi Arabian citizen who had chemical engineering at Texas Tech University, was arrested February 23, 2011, after federal agents found bomb-making materials at his apartment, as well as other evidence indicating the former president was his target.
Federal prosecutors also claim Aldawsari planned to attack dams and power plants.
The 22-year-old faces one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
Following the arrest, journalist James Clark of Lubbock, Texas, sought to interview Aldawsari. But U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings of Lubbock imposed a gag order preventing Clark and other reporters from speaking with the accused. In April Cummings recused himself from the case without explanation. However this week’s ruling also criticized Cummings for asserting that Clark lacked standing to challenge the gag order.
Clark appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected his motion and kept the order in place. Aldawsari’s trial is scheduled to start June 21 in Amarillo.
To Learn More:
Gag Order Still Shields Would-Be Bush Assassin (by Bonnie Barron, Courthouse News Service)
Federal Appeals Court Upholds Gag Order in Aldawsari Case (Walt Nett, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)
FBI Thwarts Texas Man's Plan to Bomb Bush Home (by Nick McCann, Courthouse News Service)
Prosecutors Reveal Witness List for Aldawsari Trial (by Walt Nett, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)
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