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Students accused of disrupting Israeli ambassador's speech seek gag order for prosecutors

May 8, 2011 | 11:17 am


Orange County prosecutors next week are scheduled to argue against a defense motion to keep them from speaking in public about their criminal case against 11 student activists accused of disrupting an Israeli ambassador's speech at UC Irvine last year.

The motion, filed in Orange County Superior Court's Central Justice Center in Santa Ana on Tuesday, accuses Deputy Dist. Atty. Dan Wagner, police and representatives from the district attorney's office of tainting the jury pool with public statements against the 11 defendants. Defense attorneys are seeking a court order that would keep prosecutors from talking publicly to the media or others about the case.

The defendants, known as the Irvine 11, are accused of conspiring to, then successfully executing, a disruption of Israel Ambassador Michael Oren's speech in February 2010. They face up to six months in jail if convicted.

Their attorneys argue that prosecutors publicly accused the 11 of targeting Oren because he was Jewish and unnecessarily disseminated evidence of their case to the media through court filings. They were seeking to have the D.A.'s office recused from the case.

Read more: "Motion aimed at silencing Irvine 11 prosecutors."

-- Joseph Serna, Daily Pilot / Times Community News

Photo: Mohamed Abdelgany, left, Khalid Akari, Shaheen Nassar and Hakim Kebir, four of 11 students in the case, are flanked by their attorneys at the arraignment hearing. All pleaded not guilty. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times