by Irvin Muchnick
United States District Court Senior Judge Charles R. Breyer on Wednesday issued an 11-page opinion and tentative order in this reporter’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security. The court concluded by directing the federal government to release documents relative to the decision to admit rapist former Irish Olympic swim coach George Gibney to this country in 1994.
This decision, which Breyer had foreshadowed at a hearing last Friday, marks an historic step in the decades-long quest by journalists and anti-sexual abuse advocates on two continents to bring a measure of justice to Gibney’s numerous victims and to hold accountable sports authorities in both Ireland and this country for protecting and harboring him.
Stating that “the Court is prepared to rule (largely) in Muchnick’s favor,” the judge went on to write:
“The Court is prepared to order DHS to disclose substantive information contained in the A-File about Gibney’s alleged crimes, decisions about immigration benefits he sought, and the dates any documents containing such information were created. DHS could still withhold identifying information about third parties other than Gibney, as well as Gibney’s past addresses, salary history, Alien number, and the like. It could also still withhold portions of documents revealing the investigative procedures it used to obtain information about Gibney, but not the information itself.
Based on that analysis, DHS has properly redacted or withheld in full some documents but not others. The Court has separated those two categories and highlighted what DHS would need to disclose to comply with this tentative order. If the parties cannot reach a resolution, the Court will issue a final order on the motion for summary judgment in due course.”
Concussion Inc. has uploaded a facsimile of the full ruling to http://muchnick.net/gibneyruling.pdf.
We will have much more shortly on this breaking story.