The Duke Cunningham case continues to interest in more ways than one. Thomas Kontogiannis, a Greek businessman who helped launder bribes
to Cunningham and a relatively minor player in the case, has proven the most sensitive prosecution of the bunch. Indications are that Kontogiannis was a counterterrorism
informant, and prosecutors have fought to keep the details of Kontogiannis' cooperation secret ever since he pleaded guilty.
It's becoming one of the more remarkable cases of government secrecy, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune
More than a year ago, a New York financier pleaded guilty to laundering bribe money for former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham in a deal that was kept secret for months.
That closed-door bargain triggered a battle between federal prosecutors and public-access advocates that took secrecy to unprecedented heights.
At one point, attorneys arguing for openness were prohibited from sharing their briefs with their clients, who were media. Even the court's docket tracking the progress of the case was not publicly available until recently.
While portions of the case remain secret, a batch of previously sealed court filings was released this week that show the government arguing what media law experts said was an astounding position....
In essence, prosecutors argued that once the executive branch says something is classified, courts are virtually powerless to review or disagree.