- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 11, 2002

Lawyers for Steven J. Hatfill of Frederick, Md., a bioweapons expert under scrutiny for the anthrax attacks, have complained to the Justice Department about its treatment of their client, including the recent highly publicized search of his apartment.
They complained last week in a letter sent soon after the Aug. 1 search and in a meeting Wednesday with the federal prosecutor overseeing the anthrax investigation, said Pat Clawson, a friend of Mr. Hatfill's who is acting as a spokesman for his legal team.
"We told [the prosecutor] we were dissatisfied with the pattern of leaks and statements made by federal agents about Steve Hatfill," Mr. Clawson said yesterday, speaking for attorney Victor M. Glasberg.
Also at the meeting was Jonathan Shapiro, a criminal defense attorney Mr. Hatfill hired after coming under more intense scrutiny in the past two weeks.
Mr. Hatfill, who has denied involvement in the attacks, has not spoken at any length about the matter but plans to deliver a statement today at his lawyer's office in Alexandria.
Mr. Clawson said the lawyers were angry particularly about the most recent search of Mr. Hatfill's apartment, which has been searched twice. Agents also have searched a storage locker Mr. Hatfill owns in Florida.
Mr. Clawson said Mr. Hatfill had agreed to allow the search and his lawyers were trying to schedule a date when, on the next day, the FBI showed up with a search warrant.
"They were willing to cooperate and the FBI executed search warrants instead, catching them completely by surprise," Mr. Clawson said. "They were making a good faith effort to schedule an appropriate time."
With a news helicopter hovering overhead, FBI and Postal Service agents wearing protective gloves searched his apartment complex. A day later, Mr. Hatfill was suspended with pay from Louisiana State University's National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, where he had just begun a job as an associate director.
Mr. Hatfill, 48, worked from 1997 to 1999 at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute at Fort Detrick, Md., once headquarters to the U.S. biological warfare program and repository for the Ames strain of anthrax that was used in last fall's attacks.
In February 1999, when he was working for the defense and CIA contractor Science Applications International Corp., he commissioned a study of how an anthrax attack might play itself out. He later was fired from that job under unclear circumstances.
H.J. Brier and Guy Taylor contributed to this report.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide