Trial in AIPAC case set for April 21


WASHINGTON (JTA) — A new trial date has been set in the classified information case against two former AIPAC staffers.

Judge T.S. Ellis III of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. on Wednesday set April 21 for the trial of Steve Rosen, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s former foreign policy chief, and Keith Weissman, AIPAC’s former Iran analyst.

The government contends that Weissman and Rosen obtained classified information from a Pentagon official and relayed to colleagues, journalists and Israeli diplomats.

The case came to light in August 2004 when AIPAC’s offices were first raided; Rosen and Weissman were indicted a year later, and since then at least six trial dates have been set and canceled. Disputes over the admissibility of classified evidence have slowed the pre-trial phase.

The new date may not stand; Constitutional questions surrounding the 1917 statute at the center of the case, criminalizing the receipt and distribution of classified information by civilians, are under consideration in the 4th Circuit Appeals Court in Richmond, Va. A decision by the court could further delay a trial.

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