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Lawyers clash over emails in 'Bag Men' lawsuit

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 28, 2014 at 4:18 pm •  Published: August 28, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Lawyers for two Massachusetts residents and for the newspaper that called them "Bag Men" after the Boston Marathon bombing are clashing over the significance of emails that circulated among law enforcement in the chaotic days after the attack.

Both sides say newly released emails, among documents unsealed earlier this month by the Boston judge presiding over the case, support their competing arguments. Lawyers for the men said the emails strengthened their argument that the New York Post was reckless, while the newspaper's legal team said they bolstered its contention that the story was, at the time of publication, accurate.

The Post's front page on April 18, 2013 — three days after the bombing — had a photograph of the two young Moroccan immigrants, one a high school student, standing near the finish line with the headline "Bag Men" and sub-headline "Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon."

The two, Salaheddin Barhoum and Yassine Zaimi, were never linked to the investigation and say the story damaged their reputations and caused emotional distress. They sued the newspaper in June 2013.

The newspaper has stressed that it never called the men, who weren't named in the story, suspects in the bombing. It has previously referenced emails that circulated on April 17, 2013, including one from an FBI agent that stated the photographs were being distributed in an "attempt to identify the individuals highlighted therein."

Among the unsealed law enforcement emails was one with the words "BOLO," short for "be on the lookout," and "Boston Marathon Bombing Terrorist Suspects."

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