Jewell May Be Close To Exoneration

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ATLANTA: After months as the prime suspect in the Centenial Olympic Park pipe bombing, former security guard Richard Jewell may be close to exoneration. The FBI appears ready to drop Jewell as a suspect after conducting a six-hour interrogation Sunday. The agency has stopped tailing Jewell and has returned the property taken from his apartment. Although the FBI is not commenting, the bureau did not ask Jewell to take another polygraph test, and returned his gun collection, not something usually done for a major suspect. But simply dropping him from the suspect list is not enough for Jewell and his lawyer, who are looking for a formal, public admission that he is no longer a suspect in the bombing. Currently before U.S. District Judge Owen Forrester is a motion to unseal the FBI affidavit used to obtain the search warrants used for Jewell's dwellings. Lin Wood, Jewell's lawyer, says the document will show that the FBI had no cause to investigate his client. The FBI is seeking to keep the paperwork private, citing concerns that releasing the affidavit would compromise its ongoing investigation. Even if the affidavit is released and the FBI produces a letter of apology, the damage to Jewell's reputation may be irreparable. -->