News media seek access to documents in Chandra Levy trial

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News media seek access to documents in Chandra Levy trial

Four media organizations jointly filed a motion Wednesday asking the District of Columbia Superior Court to grant public access to court documents in an ongoing criminal trial involving the murder of Chandra Levy, a 24-year-old Washington, D.C., intern who disappeared in 2001.

In the case of U.S. v. Ingmar Guandique, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, Gannett Company Inc. and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a joint motion requesting immediate access to all exhibits presented to the jury during the ongoing criminal trial, and to the written questionnaires completed by jurors during jury selection. In response to inquiries from The Washington Post after the trial began last week, a court public affairs officer had indicated that such documents would not be made available to the press or the public during the ongoing prosecution, according to a memorandum filed by the media organizations.

In addition to requesting access to the documents, the news organizations also filed a motion for leave to intervene in the case, a process required of any person or group that is not a party to a case, but is seeking access to court materials. Such a motion enables the organizations to be heard by the court regarding their reasons for requesting access to the documents…

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