Facebook gets access to emails

A US judge has given Facebook access to the email accounts of a man suing for half-ownership of the social networking website and ordered him to explain why he cannot produce documents its lawyers believe are evidence.

Facebook's attorney told the judge that proof that Paul Ceglia's case is a fraud has been sitting on a Chicago law firm's email server since 2004, adding that an email that Mr Ceglia sent to a former associate at the firm includes a scanned version of the two-page contract he and Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, signed. Unlike the one Mr Ceglia filed in his suit, it does not mention Facebook, only a street-mapping database Mr Ceglia had hired Mr Zuckerberg to work on, he said.

Mr Ceglia's attorney countered that Facebook had tried to "poison the jury pool" by releasing what should have been confidential documents.