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Accused of Interference in Bombing, Writer Surrenders

January 20, 1999| From Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — A writer who has advanced conspiracy theories about the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building surrendered Tuesday to face charges that he tried to influence a grand jury investigating the blast.

Complaining that he is being persecuted for "speaking the truth," David Hoffman, 38, reported to the Oklahoma County Jail, three weeks after being indicted by the grand jury. Hoffman, who was released from jail later Tuesday, could get two years in prison if convicted on the misdemeanor charges.

Hoffman, who runs an alternative San Francisco newspaper, the Haight-Ashbury Free Press, and wrote "The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror," has said he was indicted for sending copies of his book and "inspirational notes" to grand jurors during their investigation.

He said he didn't try to contact grand jurors directly and couldn't remember precisely what the notes contained.

Hoffman said Dist. Atty. Bob Macy is "trying to prosecute a lowly reporter for speaking the truth about a crime he was charged to investigate but failed to do so."

The April 19, 1995, truck bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building killed 168 people. Hoffman claims the government was involved or knew about the attack in advance.

The grand jury met for 18 months. In its final report last month, it dismissed allegations of a larger conspiracy or a government cover-up.

Hoffman called the grand jury investigation "the biggest government cover-up since the Kennedy assassination."

Timothy J. McVeigh was sentenced to death in the case. Terry L. Nichols was sentenced to life in prison. Michael Fortier got 12 years on lesser charges.

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