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NYT and LA Times Ask Fed Judge To Release Gov. Documents On Wrong Anthrax Suspect

Scientist Steven J. Hatfill, who was once the obsession of the FBI during the anthrax probe, quickly became a footnote in the case when the government cleared him and pointed the finger at scientist  Bruce Ivins. Ivins ended up committing suicide. But now the focus is back on Hatfill, at least for the moment.

Scientist Hatfill wrongfully accused

Scientist Hatfill wrongfully accused

By JESSE J. HOLLAND
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Two newspapers asked a federal judge Wednesday to make public several documents relating to a former Army scientist who was named as a person of interest in the 2001 anthrax attacks and later exonerated.
The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times want the government’s search warrants and supporting documents involving Steven Hatfill, who was eventually cleared in the anthrax attacks and was awarded $5.8 million in a lawsuit accusing the Justice Department of violating his privacy.
Normally, search warrants would be sealed for a person who has not been charged or indicted, lawyers said. But the public has a right to know why investigators wanted to search Hatfill’s home and on what basis the courts agreed to allow those searches, the newspapers argued in U.S. District Court.
“The public has a right to know why he was targeted,” said Jeanette Melendez Bead, lawyer for the newspapers.
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