[News] Prosecutors Agree to Release of Some Rosenberg Grand Jury Records

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jun 26 18:49:36 EDT 2008

National Security Archive Update, June 26, 2008

Federal Prosecutors Agree to Release of Some Rosenberg Grand Jury 
Records After Petition from Archive and Historical Groups

For more information contact:
Tom Blanton/Meredith Fuchs - 202/994-7000
David Vladeck - 202/662-9540


Washington, DC, June 26, 2008 - Responding to a petition filed in 
January by the National Security Archive and several leading U.S. 
historical associations for the release of grand jury records from 
the 1951 indictment of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, federal 
prosecutors in New York conceded that a substantial portion of the 
grand jury materials could be made public after more than 55 years.

In a court filing this week, the government said it would not oppose 
the release of transcripts and other materials for 35 of the 45 
witnesses who testified before the grand jury that in 1951 indicted 
the Rosenbergs, who were accused of running an espionage ring that 
passed American atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, convicted of 
spying, and executed in 1953. The 35 witnesses are either deceased or 
consented to the disclosure. In its filing, the government agreed 
that the Rosenberg case is of "significant historical importance" and 
therefore the materials are covered by a special exception to the 
longstanding rule that grand jury records must remain secret indefinitely.

"The government's decision to open the bulk of the Rosenberg 
transcripts marks an important historic turning point," said Archive 
director Tom Blanton. "In every prior case, the government has 
steadfastly resisted release of any grand jury records, regardless of 
their importance."

The petitioners include the National Security Archive at George 
Washington University, the American Historical Association, the 
American Society for Legal History, the Organization of American 
Historians, the Society of American Archivists, and New York Times 
reporter Sam Roberts.

Visit the Web site of the National Security Archive for more 
information about today's posting.


Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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