Judge delays Hatfill lawsuit until Oct. 7

July 08, 2004|By Scott Shane | Scott Shane,SUN NATIONAL STAFF

After reviewing a secret progress report on the FBI's anthrax investigation, a judge has confirmed his postponement of Dr. Steven J. Hatfill's lawsuit against the federal government for at least three more months.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton signed an order Tuesday delaying proceedings in the lawsuit until Oct. 7, when he will again review the investigation. Government lawyers had sought the postponement, saying that Hatfill's lawyers' requests for documents and depositions would interfere with the case.

On Tuesday, Walton reviewed a classified declaration written by Richard Lambert, the FBI inspector in charge of the investigation of the anthrax-laced letters that killed five people in 2001. The declaration was then "stored in an appropriate secure container at the Department of Justice," according to court papers.

Hatfill, a former Army biowarfare expert at Fort Detrick in Frederick, denies any connection to the attacks.

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