CHARLOTTE, N.C. Federal prosecutors have filed a new motion in the case against former Mayor Patrick Cannon, who was arrested seven weeks ago and charged with public corruption.

The new motion, like several others already filed, has been sealed by order of the trial judge.

Since Cannon s arrest, he has not been back in a courtroom for any hearing, but legal experts say the number of sealed motions indicates there is activity going on behind the scene.

Defense Attorney Melissa Owen, who is not part of the Cannon case, said motions can be sealed by a judge and kept from the public record, only for a very good reason.

Often it is an ongoing investigation, it can be national security, it can be risk to witnesses, it can be confidential information that has to be protected, Owen said. It is up to the judge s discretion.

And while a motion can be sealed now, it can just as easily be unsealed by a judge, or the details could come out at an eventual trial.

It doesn t mean because it is sealed now, we won t be able to get our hands on it forever, said Owen.

A Grand Jury is scheduled to meet in Charlotte next week but because the proceedings are also kept secret, it is not known if the Cannon case will be presented to the panel for a possible indictment.

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