Bioterror expert can question journalists in anthrax case

US District Judge Reggie Walton Thursday granted bioterror expert Dr. Stephen Hatfill's request to question journalists who published stories based on government leaks about the late-2001 anthrax attacks. As previously reported in JURIST Paper Chase, Hatfill filed a defamation suit against Attorney General Ashcroft and other government authorities who publicly named him as a "person of interest" in the attacks, claiming that they did so in order to divert attention from their inability to close the case and that his reputation was ruined as a result. Hatfill has never been charged in connection with the attacks, but media coverage of him has been extensive. Judge Walton, who earlier this month admonished government attorneys for repeatedly leaking information about Hatfill to the media, said "I am not prepared to leave this at a status quo... I believe Dr. Hatfill has a right to his day in court." AP has more.

 

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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