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Derderians ask court to bar attorney general from commenting on case
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(AP) -- The owners of the West Warwick nightclub charged with the deaths of 100 people in a fire have asked a state judge to bar the attorney general from commenting on the case.

The lawyers for The Station nightclub�s owners, Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, wrote in a brief filed in Providence Superior Court that Attorney General Patrick Lynch has made �inappropriate� remarks since the February 2003 fire that have prejudiced the case. They asked the judge to issue sanctions, and dismiss the case.

Messages left with Lynch�s spokesman and the plaintiff�s attorneys were not immediately returned on Thursday.

The brief, which was filed Monday, lists several examples of statements Lynch has made to the media that the lawyers claimed violated rules of professional conduct and the court�s statements on pretrial publicity. In one example, the plaintiffs accuse Lynch of publicly chiding the Derderians for refusing to cooperate with investigators in the days after the fire, when the lawyers claim their clients were in constant touch with prosecutors.

�The prosecution has consistently talked to the media about the Derderians� role in the investigation, as well as their character and alleged criminal responsibility,� the lawyers wrote. �The prosecution�s chosen course of action now threatens the Derderians� ability to receive a fair trial.�

The Derderians and the tour manager of the rock band Great White have pleaded innocent to 200 counts each of involuntary manslaughter.

The fire started after the band�s pyrotechnics set ablaze foam that had been placed around the stage.


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