RICHMOND, Va. (AP) A federal appeals court in Virginia says two men accused of illegally disclosing national defense secrets can use some classified information at their trial.

Tuesday's ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirms a decision by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III.

Steven Rosen and Keith Wiessman are former lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. They were charged in 2005 with conspiring to obtain classified reports on U.S. policy and sharing them with reporters and foreign diplomats.

A three-judge panel of the Richmond-based appeals court said last year's ruling by Ellis sought to protect the defendants' rights while also preventing the unnecessary disclosure of classified information.

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