Judge Orders Leak Investigation On Katrina Killings Reopened

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A federal judge in New Orleans ordered the Justice Department on Monday to reopen an investigation into leaks to journalists in the Danziger Bridge case.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that U.S. District Court Judge Kurt Engelhardt told prosecutors to question reporters about their sources for news stories published during the trials. The case centered on the killing of a pair of unarmed New Orleans residents by police officers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent cover-up. Five officers were convicted for either deprivation of rights and aiding in the cover-up, while another five pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Engelhardt slammed the U.S. Attorney’s Office over recent revelations that two senior prosecutors had been posting anonymous comments online. He also said both made false comments to him during the leak inquiry. While Engelhardt said sufficient evidence has not yet been provided to overturn the Danziger defendants’ convictions, he noted that he was dismayed by prosecutors’ “skullduggery.”

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