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Judge: Terrorist can sue over prison restrictions

DENVER | A man convicted of a 1998 terrorist strike on the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania has won the right to sue the federal government over tight restrictions on his visitors and letter-writing at the federal supermax prison in southern Colorado.

Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, serving a life sentence at the high-security prison, says the restrictions violate his civil rights.

Jeff Dorschner, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Denver, did not return a phone call Wednesday seeking a response.

In a handwritten filing in 2008 in Denver District Court, Mohammed said the special administrative measures that allow restrictions on federal prisoners were “in violation of the First Amendment rights, equal protection rights, cruel and unusual punishment.”

Representing himself, Mohamed also complained that he was barred from watching religious programming on Arabic television, even though Christian prisoners had access to their spiritual leaders.

In her ruling Thursday, U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger said the federal government failed to show that the people Mohamed wants to communicate with pose a threat to the security of the prison or the public.


Lawsuit filed over Yellowstone River oil spill

BILLINGS | Several landowners whose property was damaged when an ExxonMobil Corp. pipeline spilled oil into the Yellowstone River have filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages for long-term harm to their property and businesses.

Attorney Cliff Edwards filed the lawsuit in state District Court in Billings on Tuesday on behalf of eight landowners, the Billings Gazette reported.

An oil pipeline buried 5 to 7 feet below the Yellowstone River ruptured July 1, spilling about 42,000 gallons of crude oil into the flooded waterway.

Dale Getz, a community relations adviser for ExxonMobil in Billings, said to his knowledge, the lawsuit is the first related to the spill, but the company does not comment on pending litigation. He said the cleanup will continue.

The lawsuit names ExxonMobil Oil Corp., ExxonMobil Pipeline in Houston, Billings refinery manager Jon Wetmore and pipeline terminal superintendent Jason Montgomery.