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United States v. Noriega
United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
917 F.2d 1543 (1990)
Cable News Network, Inc. (CNN) (defendant) obtained recordings of phone calls between former Panamanian General Manuel Noriega and his attorney, which the United States government had recorded while Noriega was imprisoned in Florida. The district court ordered CNN to provide the tapes so the court could conduct an in camera review of the recordings for privileged information. The district court also prohibited CNN from broadcasting the tapes until the in camera determination of privilege was complete. CNN filed for emergency relief in the court of appeals, refused to surrender the tapes, and broadcast parts of the recordings while the emergency motion to vacate the injunction orders was pending. Because the order did not include a finding that the contents of the tapes implicated Noriega’s right to a fair trial, CNN argued that the order was an improper prior restraint. CNN further contended that Noriega’s right to a fair trial could be protected without prohibiting the broadcast of the tapes.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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