The Justice Department wants to bar the public from a court hearing Jan. 7 in the Blackwater criminal case in federal district court in Washington, D.C., saying that the proceeding may result in the disclosure of classified information.

The government filed a motion Dec. 3 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia so that the court can determine the use, relevance and admissibility of classified information in the prosecution of five Blackwater security guards, who are charged in the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians.