Accused D.C. Madam Cites National Security

By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 4, 2007; 12:34 PM

The woman accused of being the D.C. Madam now argues that the fact that Muslim men used her elite, Washington-based escort service before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks might have played a role in the government's effort to prosecute her.

Deborah Jeane Palfrey says she might need to divulge classified information that has sensitive national security implications -- perhaps including the identities of Middle Eastern customers -- to defend herself against the charges. She is asking a federal judge for a hearing behind closed doors to discuss the information as it relates to the government's charges.

Prosecutors, who have charged Palfrey with running an illegal prostitution ring in the District from 1993 to 2006, have declined to comment on Palfrey's newest claims. Previously, Palfrey unsuccessfully argued that the attorney general needed to appoint a special counsel to investigate her case because the Justice Department might be covering up information that former prosecutors were customers of her escort service.

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