NEW YORK – Steve J. Hatfill, the scientist the FBI named a "person of interest" in the investigation of last year's deadly anthrax mailings, again proclaimed his innocence and offered to take blood and handwriting tests to prove it.
"I am not the anthrax killer!" an occasionally teary Hatfill said outside his lawyer's Virginia office.
He urged the authorities to make public the results of blood tests and handwriting tests he offered to take, in the hopes that it would put to rest any doubts about his innocence. The blood tests, he said, would reveal whether or not he had recently worked with anthrax bacteria.
Hatfill, 48, is a bioweapons expert specializing in viral weapons, not bacterial.
It was the second time Hatfill publicly stated that he had nothing to do with the post-Sept. 11 mailings of anthrax that claimed five lives and still have not been solved. On Aug. 11, Hatfill said he was unconnected to the attacks, but that the FBI was still persecuting him.
The FBI has said that Hatfill is one "person of interest" among 30. He claimed the investigation was so heavyhanded that it caused his suspension as a researcher at a Louisiana university.
Among items that the authorities reportedly interested in: exaggerations on Hatfill's resume, his time fighting for white rule in Rhodesia, his loss of security clearance on a defense contract, a 1999 report Hatfill commissioned on the feasibility of sending anthrax through the mail and a novel Hatfill was working about a fictional bioterror attack.
This Sunday, Hatfill added more tales of FBI-caused misery, but maintained his innocence.
"I believe I may be arrested by the time this is all done, and if i do, it will have nothing to do with anthrax," he said.
He also described more examples of the "hounding" he's suffered.
"I am only followed by FBI agents in cars and on foot 24 hours a day, seven days a week," he said.
Worst, Hatfill said, was the treatment his girlfriend was receiving. He showed blown-up pictures of her ransacked home and related tales of strongarming by federal authorities.
"My girlfriend was hauled off in an FBI car and interrogated for hours without once being told she could leave anytime she wished. Her request for a lawyer was delayed for hours," Hatfill said. "She was screamed at by FBI agents and told by FBI agents who said they had firm evidence I was responsible for the death of five people."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.