A federal judge rebuked intelligence agencies for delaying the classified information trial against two former AIPAC staffers for nearly two years. “These people have sat around indicted for years. They are entitled to a trial,” Judge T.S. Ellis III told Thomas Reilly, the prosecution lawyer who represents the intelligence agencies. “You need to get with it now.” Ellis was reacting Wednesday to Reilly’s request for another postponement in considering the judge’s rejection of a government request for a secret trial. The prosecution was either to agree to the judge’s terms on the use of classified information by Wednesday or serve notice of its intention to appeal the decision. Instead, prosecutors asked for more time to consider their options. The judge set a May 21 deadline.”We need to send a signal to your clients,” Ellis said. “They need to be clear that this matter has to go forward.” Steve Rosen, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s former foreign policy chief, and Keith Weissman, AIPAC’s former Iran analyst, were indicted in August 2005. The case became public when FBI agents raided AIPAC’s offices in August 2004. The two men are charged with receiving classified information and relaying it to journalists and Israeli diplomats under a 1917 statute that criminalizes the receipt of classified information. The statute has never been applied before.
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