ATLANTA, NOV. 10 -- A federal appeals court today upheld an injunction barring Cable News Network from broadcasting tapes of Manuel Antonio Noriega's telephone conversations with his lawyers from jail.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also called on the network to produce its seven tapes in U.S. District Court in Miami so the court could decide whether broadcasting them would endanger the ousted Panamanian leader's right to a fair trial on drug-trafficking charges.

CNN reported that its attorneys "will pursue an immediate appeal to the Supreme Court," seeking review of the appeals court ruling. CNN has characterized the Miami court's order as an unconstitutional prior restraint on freedom of the press.

CNN spokesman Steve Haworth said tonight that he did not know whether the network will continue televising excerpts of the tapes.

The ruling came after CNN on Friday defied U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler in Miami by broadcasting excerpts from the tapes minutes after the judge had issued an order instructing the network not to do so.

The appellate court in Atlanta denied CNN's appeal of Hoeveler's 10-day injunction against broadcasting excerpts of the phone calls.

It called on the network to produce the tapes in Hoeveler's courtroom so the trial judge can determine if Noriega's constitutional rights to a fair trial and to effective legal counsel have been violated by the U.S. government and CNN.

The appeals court's ruling avoids deciding the underlying First Amendment issue, but allows the injunction against broadcasting the tapes to continue in force while the trial court considers the competing constitutional interests in the case.

"The First Amendment interests of the press and public will best be served by immediate production of the tapes held by CNN so that the district court can conduct the difficult balancing of constitutional rights," the appeals panel said.

In a brief filed this morning with the appeals court, the Justice Department claimed the tapes could make it more difficult to select an unbiased jury for Noriega's trial on drug-trafficking charges.

Noriega's right to a fair trial and effective legal counsel also could be compromised if details of the defense strategy are revealed to prosecutors, the brief said.

"The government cannot at this point be more specific with respect to the possible harm that could flow from publication of the tapes because the government, like the district court, does not know the contents of the materials CNN has in its possession," the brief said.

This afternoon, Noriega attorney Frank Rubino asked Hoeveler to find CNN in civil contempt and fine the network $300,000 for each time it had televised the tapes and each time it broadcasts them in the future.

Before Hoeveler could respond, CNN attorney Terry Beinstock asked the judge to disqualify himself, accusing the judge of revealing a personal bias against the network in an interview on CNN Friday night. In the interview, the judge stated that "they {CNN} obviously are in contempt at the moment."