WTC developer Larry Silverstein was cleared of contempt of court charges this week, despite a federal judge concluding that he had violated a court order.

Silverstein had been banned from attending the main insurance trial while the judge considered the contempt charge.

Silverstein had publicly criticised insurers for failing to agree to a double payout on the complex's $3.55bn policy limit during a 15 March press conference on efforts to rebuild the devastated site.

Judge Michael Mukasey said that although Silverstein had violated a court ruling barring public comments, a contempt ruling against Silverstein would have had a more prejudicial effect on the ongoing insurance trial relating to the attacks than Silverstein's original comments

He said the trial jury, who were to to determine whether the attacks were one event or two, were not likely to have been affected by Silverstein's comments.

At the 15 March press conference, Silverstein said he expected to recover $7bn from the insurance trial to go towards the cost of rebuilding the centre. He added: "Instead of getting insurance, we got ourselves a massive amount of litigation."