Newspaper seeks to unseal records in coal baron’s appeal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia newspaper is asking a federal court to unseal documents filed as former coal baron Don Blankenship sought to have his criminal mine safety conviction overturned.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports it filed a motion Wednesday to intervene in the case so it can argue that 14 documents should be made available to the public and press.

The court filing says Blankenship’s accusations of prosecutorial misconduct have been widely circulated and the public has a right to know what information he’s using to support the allegations.

Blankenship, who was CEO of Massey Energy, was convicted of conspiring to violate mine safety and health standards at Upper Big Branch Mine, where 29 miners died in a 2010 explosion.

His conviction was upheld by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider a further appeal.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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