JUDGE strikes request for Oklahoma City bombing files

Friday, August 17th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) _ The judge who handled the Oklahoma City bombing trials has struck down a request from a man who wanted to unseal documents in the case.

U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch ruled Thursday that David Hoffman should not have filed his motion in the first place because he was not a party in the federal trials of convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh and coconspirator Terry Nichols.

Hoffman had sought investigative files into the April 19, 1995, explosion, to determine if anyone else was involved in the bombing, which killed 168 people.

McVeigh was executed in June. Nichols is serving a life sentence and faces state charges.

Hoffman's lawsuit sought the files under the Freedom of Information Act. He argued that motions to seal documents in the case during the trials should be vacated.

Matsch ruled that the documents could only be unsealed if a party in the proceedings pursued it.

Hoffman is the author ``The Oklahoma City Bombing and The Politics of Terror,'' and pleaded guilty in 1999 to tampering with the state grand jury in Oklahoma City that investigated the bombing.

Hoffman sent his book about his theory of unsolved conspiracies in the bombing to an alternate juror.