Ten Muslim students broke the law by shouting down a speech by an Israeli diplomat at the University of California, Irvine, in a carefully drafted and executed plan that flouted repeated warnings by campus officials, a prosecutor said Monday.

In closing arguments at the trial that stoked fierce debate about free speech, prosecutor Dan Wagner told jurors that emails among the students revealed they knew they could be arrested when they got up, one by one, and shouted pre-scripted statements to interrupt Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's talk on U.S.-Israel relations in February 2010.

"The right to free speech is not absolute," Wagner said before a packed courtroom of more than 180 people in Orange County, with more observers waiting outside. "If hecklers' vetoes were allowed, then nobody, nobody, none of us would have the right to free speech."

Read the complete original version of this item...