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But Assistant Prosecutor Frank Koldzieski's motion for a protective order argued that disclosure of where the GPS was installed would compromise public safety. The state claimed the information could jeopardize current and future drug investigations.
Coleman agreed with the state's argument and granted the motion against disclosing where the GPS was located. The judge also barred the defense from asking for exact specifications of the device.
"It ties my hands in defending the defendant," said Altman, who vowed to file an appeal.
Reversals of such decisions are difficult, according to law experts.
Under the state's rule of evi dence, official information cannot be disclosed when a judge finds it "will be harmful to the interests of the public."
"The problem for the defendant is, the public interest is whatever the judge decides," said George Thomas, a professor at Rutgers Law School in Newark.