A federal judge in the Manuel Noriega case ruled that while edited transcripts of the case could be released to the public, hearings regarding classified documents must remain closed.

The decision Thursday by U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler was aimed at settling a simmering dispute over secrecy in the case of the former Panamanian leader and government efforts to guard classified information. It was a partial victory for prosecutors on the one side and defense and media on the other.Noriega sat quietly during the hearing, clad in his four-star general's uniform, and didn't address the court. His trial on charges he accepted $4.6 million in bribes from Colombia's Medellin drug cartel is set for July 22.