The defense lawyers representing five Blackwater security guards on manslaughter charges are not entitled to a government security escort to travel in and around Iraq to investigate the criminal allegations, a federal judge in Washington ruled Monday.

The lawyers, including Steptoe & Johnson partner Mark Hulkower, were unwilling to rely on private companies for the escort, arguing that the attorneys should be given the same level of security given to the FBI and federal prosecutors. The defense lawyers, who asked for a military escort, said a private contractor would not receive cooperation from the government. The lawyers said the defense would pay for government security.

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