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Page last updated at 11:23 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 12:23 UK

Trial halted over judge's website

Judge Alex Kozinski
Mr Kozinski said he did not believe the images on his site were obscene

An obscenity trial in the US has been suspended after the judge overseeing it acknowledged that his own website featured sexually explicit images.

Federal appeals court judge Alex Kozinski, 57, agreed to halt until Monday the trial of a businessman accused of distributing obscene videos.

Mr Kozinski said he was not aware the explicit photographs and videos on his website could be seen by the public.

Public access to his site has since been blocked.

Mr Kozinski is a high-ranking and highly respected judge, and is chief judge of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

'Don't remember'

Mr Kozinski granted a joint prosecution and defence motion to suspend the trial after prosecutors asked for time to explore a potential conflict of interest.

It came after Mr Kozinski admitted in an interview published on the Los Angeles Times website that he had posted the material and shared some of it with friends.

Earlier, jurors had spent hours watching videos of bestiality and extreme fetishes that were evidence in the trial of Ira Isaacs, a Los Angeles businessman.

Everyone in the family stores stuff there, and I had no idea what some of the stuff is or was
Judge Alex Kozinski

Mr Kozinski told the newspaper that he thought most of the material on his website was "funny" but acknowledged some of it was inappropriate.

In an email to a legal news website, abovethelaw.com, Mr Kozinski said the site was for private family use and that he believed his son Yale was responsible for uploading "a bunch of" the material.

"Everyone in the family stores stuff there, and I had no idea what some of the stuff is or was," he wrote.

"I sure don't remember putting some of that stuff there," he added.

A spokesman for California Senator Dianne Feinstein, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that if it was true, it was "unacceptable behaviour for a federal court judge".





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