Important Harvey Weinstein hearing could be held in secret
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Important Harvey Weinstein hearing could be held in secret

FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2018 file photo, Harvey Weinstein enters State Supreme Court in New York. An important pretrial hearing in Weinstein's sexual assault case could be play out in secret if a judge rules against news organizations fighting to keep the courtroom open. Both the prosecution and defense have asked that the hearing Friday, April 26, 2019, dealing with trial strategy and potential witnesses be held behind closed doors. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK — An important pretrial hearing in Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault case could play out in secret if a judge rules against news organizations fighting to keep the courtroom open.

Both the prosecution and defence have asked that Friday’s hearing dealing with trial strategy and potential witnesses be held behind closed doors.

They say they want to protect Weinstein’s right to a fair trial and shield the identities of women who’ve accused the disgraced movie mogul of wrongdoing.

Lawyers for the news organizations, including The Associated Press and The New York Times, are due to appear before Judge James Burke before he rules.

They argue that the sides haven’t met a high legal standard for closing

Weinstein denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

Michael R. Sisak, The Associated Press

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