Judge rules against FBI in informant's case

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A federal judge has declined to reverse an order directing the FBI to produce an index of records of informant Ernest Withers, a civil rights-era Memphis photographer.

According to The Commercial Appeal, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of Washington ruled Wednesday against an FBI request. The paper said Withers' file is now subject to release under the Freedom of Information Act.

The FBI had argued that information about confidential informants is not releasable through the act unless the agency first officially confirms an individual as an informant and not through inadvertent disclosure.

Withers, who died in 2007, was known as "the civil rights photographer" for iconic images of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Commercial Appeal sued in November 2010 for access to Withers' informant file.

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