General accused of sex assault wants Panetta email

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - Lawyers representing a U.S. Army general facing sexual assault charges are asking a military judge to force prosecutors to turn over any e-mails related to the case sent or received by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

A court martial is set to begin at Fort Bragg next month for Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair on charges including forcible sodomy, indecent acts and violating orders.

In a motion filed Tuesday as part of a pre-trial hearing, lawyers for Sinclair argue top Pentagon brass were receiving regular updates last year on the investigation and may have encouraged subordinates to make an example of Sinclair. It is unlawful in the military justice system for senior commanders to interfere in criminal cases.

Two of Sinclair's commanders testified earlier this month there was no such pressure.

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