Was Martha leak victim?

Stewart lawyers seek leak probe

Lawyers for Martha Stewart believe information pertaining to the lifestyle maven’s June 4 indictment was leaked to the media and have asked a federal judge to order an investigation.

On Monday Stewart’s attorney, Robert Morvillo, told the federal judge overseeing the obstruction of justice case against Stewart that potentially prejudicial material appeared in media reports on June 3, the day before Stewart was handed a nine-count criminal indictment for her suspiciously timed sale of ImClone stock in late 2001.

Stewart has pleaded not guilty.

Per Morvillo, early reports said Stewart would not be charged for insider trading, which, in fact, she was not. He told U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum he did not believe the tips came from the U.S. Attorney’s Office but could have been leaked from the FBI or the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Such probes into leaks typically are ordered only if there are concerns that information reported by the media could be prejudicial.

Morvillo said he thought it was.

Attorneys from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the leaks could have come from the defense lawyers.

Cedarbaum said she would not rule on the motion until she had seen a transcript about the press reports given to the grand jury.

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