2008年6月29日日曜日

炭疽菌事件は国策捜査か

米司法省は炭疽菌事件容疑者と和解が成立したようだ。
FBIが炭疽菌事件の容疑者として逮捕したスティーブン・ハットフィルが司法
長官と同省を訴えていたもので、和解内容は一時金約283万ドル(約3億円)、
一定期間での年間15万ドルの支払いとなっている。

逃走を防ぐために逮捕するFBIだが、報道競争で容疑者を犯人扱いしたメディア
を訴訟せず、司法省を提訴した元研究者。
米政府のテロ対策のいけにえとして逮捕されたということなのかもしれない。
CNNの記事ではそう言う受取れる。
しかし、APの記事では、USA Todayの記者に対して有罪の判決が出ており、
司法省から意図的に情報漏えいされたことが明らかになっている。
日本で言うところの国策捜査ということだろうか。
研究者は冤罪ではないがいけにえとなってしまったようだ。
米国の人権なんてしょせんこんなものだろう。日本と大差がないと思う。


---容疑者扱いの生物学者と和解成立と、01年の炭疽菌事件---
2008.06.28 Web posted at: 15:16 JST Updated - CNN
http://www.cnn.co.jp/usa/CNN200806280009.html

ワシントン(CNN) 米国で2001年、炭疽(たんそ)菌が入った郵便物が連邦議員事務所や報道機関などに送り付けられ5人が死亡、17人が重症となった事件で、米司法省は27日、重要参考人などと容疑者扱いされ提訴していた元陸軍の生物兵器研究者と和解が成立したと述べた。

生物学者スティーブン・ハットフィル博士が2003年、当時のアシュクロフト司法長官と同省を訴えていたもので、和解内容は一時金約283万ドル(約3億円)、一定期間での年間15万ドルの支払いとなっている。

事件は米同時多発テロ後の01年10月に発生、新たなテロとして米国民を震かんさせていた。博士は容疑者の1人などとしてメディアに漏らされ、プライバシーが侵害され、大学の勤め口も失ったとして提訴していた。

博士は事件への関与を全面否定している。

米連邦捜査局(FBI)が今も事件解明に努めているが、犯人はまだ逮捕されていない。

---Ex-Army scientist to get $5.8M in anthrax lawsuit---
By MATT APUZZO
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ggnSVGuQvX23iSN9fCYgtmUMsaBAD91IOTV00

WASHINGTON (AP) - A former Army scientist who was named as a person of interest in the 2001 anthrax attacks will receive $5.8 million to settle his lawsuit against the Justice Department. Steven Hatfill claimed the Justice Department violated his privacy rights by speaking with reporters about the case.

Settlement documents were filed in federal court Friday. Both sides have agreed to the deal, according to the documents, and as soon as they are signed, the case will be dismissed.

The deal requires the Justice Department to pay $2.825 million up front and buy Hatfill a $3 million annuity that will pay him $150,000 each year for 20 years.

"Our government failed us, not only by failing to catch the anthrax mailers but by seeking to conceal that failure," Hatfill's lawyers said in a statement. "Our government did this by leaking gossip, speculation, and misinformation to a handful of credulous reporters."

The statement also blamed journalists for not questioning the motives of the government's statements or its tactics.

"As an innocent man, and as our fellow citizen, Steven Hatfill deserved far better," they said.

The Justice Department said the settlement was in the best interest of the nation.

"The United States does not admit to any violation of the Privacy Act and continues to deny all liability in connection with Dr. Hatfill's claims," Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said in response to the settlement.

Five people were killed and 17 sickened by anthrax that was mailed to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and members of the news media in New York and Florida just weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

After the attacks, Attorney General John Ashcroft called Hatfill "a person of interest" in the investigation and stories by various reporters followed. Hatfill had worked at the Army's infectious diseases laboratory from 1997 to 1999. The anthrax attacks remain unsolved.

The settlement likely also means that former USA Today reporter Toni Locy will no longer face up to $5,000-a-day in fines in the case. A federal judge ordered her to identify the officials who discussed Hatfill. When she said she couldn't remember, the judge ordered her to identify all her sources on the anthrax case.

She challenged that order, but a federal appeals court has yet to rule in the case. Because Hatfill's lawsuit is being settled, Locy's case will probably be dismissed as moot, though that will be up to the appeals court. Hatfill's lawyers told the court Friday that they no longer need her testimony.

"I hope this means that this ordeal is over and that I can get on with my life," Locy said. "I am pleased that Dr. Hatfill's lawyers are now saying they no longer need my testimony, but I don't know if my appeal is moot or if the contempt order against me will be lifted because I don't have anything at this point from the Court of Appeals or Judge Walton that says I'm in the clear."

Attorneys for Locy said she had no money to pay the fines imposed by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton. Locy, a former reporter with The Associated Press and other news organizations, now teaches journalism at West Virginia University.

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