Reporters Ordered To Testify On Sources In Anthrax Case


Five reporters must testify about their law enforcement sources in former Army scientist Steven Hatfill's lawsuit against the Justice Department, says federal judge’s ruling reported by the New York Times. Hatfill, a bioterrorism expert, argues that the government violated the federal Privacy Act by providing journalists with information about him in the FBI's investigation of the deadly anthrax mailings in 2001. The reporters are Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman of Newsweek; Allan Lengel of The Washington Post; Toni Locy, formerly of USA Today; and James Stewart, formerly of CBS News.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said Hatfill was entitled to the sources' names because “the information sought is clearly central to his Privacy Act claims.” The reporters are likely to face contempt sanctions if they fail to comply with Walton's order. Last year, the government and five news organizations paid Wen Ho Lee, an atomic scientist once suspected of espionage, $1,645,000 to settle what Walton called a “strikingly similar” case.


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