Video: U.S. settles with former anthrax suspect

updated 6/27/2008 4:47:24 PM ET 2008-06-27T20:47:24

The Justice Department has agreed to pay $5.8 million to settle a lawsuit with former Army scientist Steven Hatfill, who was named as a person of interest in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

Hatfill claimed the Justice Department violated his privacy rights by speaking with reporters about the case.

Settlement documents were filed in federal court Monday. 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 dollars up front and buy Hatfill a $3 million annuity that will pay him $150,000 each year for 20 years.

“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.

Court documents filed Friday say the two sides have reached an agreement that will lead to the case being dismissed.

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