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Closed hearings to continue in Chandra Levy case

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February 7, 2013 03:39 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON — A judge has ruled that hearings in the 2001 Chandra Levy murder case will continue to be closed to the public and the news media.

The hearings have been held behind closed doors over the last several weeks and could signal a problem with the prosecution. Ingmar Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, was convicted of Levy's murder in 2010 and is serving a 60-year prison sentence.

Levy was a Washington intern whose murder went unsolved for years and captivated the public because of her romantic relationship with a California congressman.

Prosecutors have cited undisclosed "safety issues" in arguing that the hearings should be sealed. Judge Gerald Fisher ruled Thursday that the media would not suffer "irrevocable harm" because details from the hearings will ultimately be made public.