DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge says the Detroit Free Press has a right to publish the mug shots of defendants in a criminal case.

According to the decision Monday by U.S. District Judge Patrick Duggan, a federal appeals court previously found that people in mug shots "do not have a privacy interest warranting nondisclosure."

Duggan wrote that he's bound by law to uphold that decision.

Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday with representatives of the Justice Department and the U.S. Marshals Service.

At issue is the newspaper's request for the booking photos of four Highland Park police officers awaiting trial in a drug and public corruption case.

Free Press lawyer Herschel Fink tells the newspaper (http://on.freep.com/1ibeB6V ) that the public "has a legitimate interest in seeing" those charged with crimes.

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com