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Bulger asks for gag order to be lifted

James ‘‘Whitey’’ Bulger wants to tell his side of the story — outside the courtroom. Defense attorneys in Bulger’s high-profile racketeering trial filed a motion Saturday saying a gag order is infringing on their client’s constitutional rights of free speech effective assistance of counsel. The defense asks federal Judge Denise J. Casper to lift the gag order, citing ‘‘personal attacks’’ against their client in the media and ‘‘an enormous degree of media attention and public discourse.’’ Bulger, 83, is accused of playing a role in 19 murders during the 1970s and ’80s while allegedly running the Winter Hill Gang. He has pleaded not guilty. In a response filed Sunday, prosecutors called Bulger’s request strange and note he is free to tell his story by testifying. The response notes that Bulger spent considerable time before the trial trying to bar some reporters from the courtroom but now complains he has no voice in the media.

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