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Prosecutors want letter released to public

June 16, 2011

Orange County prosecutors are expected to argue in court Friday that a letter related to the criminal case against 11 student activists who protested a speech by an Israeli ambassador last year at UC Irvine should be released to the public.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys Thursday declined to discuss the contents of the letter or the case in general, partially because of a gag order instituted by an Orange County Superior Court judge last month.

The misdemeanor criminal case has become synonymous with its defendants, dubbed the Irvine 11. The group disrupted a speech by Israel Ambassador Michael Oren at the university early last year.

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Both sides have pitted this case as a First Amendment issue, with prosecutors saying they violated Oren's right to speak and Irvine 11 supporters saying the case is an attempt to silence political discourse.

— Joseph Serna

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