An attorney for the Associated Press (AP), on behalf of his news organization, has sought to intervene in the Ali Sadr Hasheminejad case, seeking to unseal hundred of documents filed post-dismissal by the US Attorney's Office. Perhaps some of the reporters have finally stumbled upon the prosecutors' secret: that there are names in those documents of prominent individuals, in several countries, who most likely have a massive sealed money laundering indictment on file against them. These individuals are said to be from Venezuela, Malta,Turkey, Russia, and Dominica, who all have a common relationship with Iran.
Regular readers of this blog know of several specific individuals who are believed to be in that category, as we have either named them, or described their occupations with such specificity that their identities are discoverable. While many questioned the truth and accuracy of those articles, which were based upon conversations with reliable sources, information subsequently surfacing in the public domain has corroborated them, including the articles about money laundering into and through Malta's financial institutions.
The AP attorney's arguments in favor of public access are flawless;
(1) There is a constitutional and common law right of public access to judicial proceedings and documents.
(2) The documents are filed in a criminal case, not an attorney disciplinary proceeding, and therefore are not in the category of documents generally presumptively confidential.
(3) There is a contemporaneous Right of Access; delay until the Court resolves pending issues violates the First Amendment rights of the press.
Will the right of public access trump the right of SDNY to keep information that might lead to sealed indictments confidential ? It's up to the Court to make that determination, weighing the equities. Whatever the outcome, you will read our analysis of the ruling here as soon as its released.