Blackwater has secret Trial against Protesters Judge kicks out Media

Blackwater protesters convicted of trespassing in private hearing
December 05, 2007 18:04 EST

CURRITUCK, N.C. (AP) -- Seven people who protested the killing of Iraqis have been convicted of trespassing at the headquarters of private security contractor Blackwater Worldwide.

The protesters said they were convicted Wednesday at a trial in Currituck County. One of those convicted said a judge cleared the courtroom of both the public and reporters after the first person was convicted.

Steve Baggerly said he and the other protesters were given suspended sentences of between 10 and 45 days and fines between $100 and $450. Baggerly said they have appealed because of the judge's decision to hold the trial in private.

Judge Edgar Barnes did not immediately return calls seeking comment. North Carolina Press Association executive director Beth Grace said the group's counsel will be reviewing situation.

A Blackwater spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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