- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 3, 2007


A former Army scientist at Fort Detrick, Md., yesterday asked a federal judge to hold two journalists in contempt for refusing to identify the government officials who leaked details about the investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks.

Steven J. Hatfill, who worked at the Army’s infectious diseases laboratory in Frederick from 1997 to 1999, was publicly identified as a “person of interest” in the attacks. He is suing the Justice Department, accusing the agency of violating the federal Privacy Act by giving reporters information about him.

Five journalists are under court order to reveal their sources. In court documents yesterday, Mr. Hatfill asked for a contempt order against two who have refused: James Stewart, formerly of CBS News, and Toni Locy, a former Associated Press reporter who wrote about Mr. Hatfill while working at USA Today.

Miss Locy testified that she could not remember specifically who told her information about Mr. Hatfill, and she refused to disclose which officials she spoke to while reporting generally on the investigation.

After the reporters attempted to contact their sources to see if they still sought anonymity, Mr. Stewart identified one FBI official, and Miss Locy’s attorneys identified an FBI official and a former Justice Department official. Mr. Stewart refuses to reveal three other FBI sources and Miss Locy refused to reveal any of her remaining contacts, Mr. Hatfill’s attorneys wrote.

Mr. Hatfill’s attorneys asked U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to fine the reporters $1,000 per day until they cooperate. The proposed fine would increase to $2,000 after a week and continue to increase $1,000 every week. Attorneys also asked that media corporations be prohibited from paying the fines for them.

The court documents did not mention whether the other reporters have cooperated. An attorney for the three reporters — Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman of Newsweek and Allan Lengel of The Washington Post — did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

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