in

WASHINGTON, April 10 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — The Departme…

WASHINGTON, April 10 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — The Department of Justice announced today that Eric Robert Rudolph will plead guilty to federal charges stemming from a series of bombings, including the fatal attacks at Centennial Olympic
Park in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics and at a Birmingham, Alabama family
planning clinic in 1998.

Rudolph, 38, of Murphy, North Carolina, was charged in the Northern
District of Georgia for the bombing attack at Centennial Olympic Park on
July 27, 1996, which killed Olympic spectator Alice Hawthorne and seriously
injured more than 100 other people; the bombing attack on a Sandy Springs,
Georgia, family planning clinic on Jan. 16, 1997, which injured more than
50 people; and the bombing attack on a Midtown Atlanta nightclub, the
Otherside Lounge, on Feb. 21, 1997, which injured five people. Rudolph was
also indicted in the Northern District of Alabama for the bombing attack on a
Birmingham family planning clinic on Jan. 29, 1998, which killed Birmingham
Police Officer Robert Sanderson and critically injured nurse Emily Lyons.

Rudolph is scheduled to plead guilty to the Northern District of Alabama
indictment Wednesday, April 13 at 9:30 AM Eastern Time (8:30 AM Central Time)
before U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith at the federal courthouse in
Birmingham. On the same day, the U.S. Marshal’s Service will transport
Rudolph to Atlanta, where he is scheduled to plead guilty at 3 PM Eastern Time
before U.S. District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr., at the federal courthouse
in Atlanta.

Rudolph has signed agreements with the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in
Birmingham and Atlanta in which he agreed to plead guilty to the three Atlanta
bombings and the Birmingham bombing and agreed to waive all appeals. The plea
agreements provide for multiple life sentences for Rudolph without the
possibility of parole.

Pursuant to the plea agreements, Rudolph disclosed to the government the
existence and locations of more than 250 pounds of dynamite buried in several
locations in the Western North Carolina area. Three of the locations were
relatively near populated areas, including one location where Rudolph buried a
fully constructed dynamite bomb with a detached detonator. As required by the
plea agreements, Rudolph described the locations of those dangerous materials
and provided other information necessary for the government to conduct render-
safe procedures.

In response to this information, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) dispatched
teams to locate the dynamite and hidden bomb. The search teams — with the
assistance of other federal agencies and state and local law enforcement in
Western North Carolina — located the bomb, which contained approximately
20 to 25 pounds of dynamite, hidden in close proximity to a road, homes and
businesses. ATF and FBI explosives experts removed the bomb components and
the dynamite was disposed of safely. Agents located dynamite and bomb
components at four other locations and safely disposed of that dynamite as
well.

“The many victims of Eric Rudolph’s terrorist attacks in Atlanta and
Birmingham can rest assured that Rudolph will spend the rest of his life
behind bars,” said Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. “The best interests
of justice are served by resolution of this case and by the skillful operation
that secured the dangerous explosives buried in North Carolina.”

U.S. Attorneys Alice H. Martin of the Northern District of Alabama and
David E. Nahmias of the Northern District of Georgia stated: “If accepted by
the courts, Eric Robert Rudolph’s guilty pleas to having committed the
Birmingham and Atlanta bombings will resolve these cases with certainty and
finality, and hopefully bring some closure to the many victims of the
bombings. The plea agreements will ensure that Rudolph spends the rest of his
life in federal prison without the possibility of parole. Importantly, the
plea agreements allowed the government to locate and render safe a buried bomb
and large amounts of hidden dynamite that posed a significant threat to public
safety.”

“Justice has prevailed,” said Director Carl J. Truscott, Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “Four heinous bombings resulted in
two deaths and hundreds injured, and the serial bomber Eric Rudolph will spend
the rest of his life behind bars for them.”

“For nearly nine years, state, local and federal law enforcement have
pursued these investigations with great persistence and fortitude,” said
Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller. “The fruits of their
efforts will finally be recognized with the court’s acceptance of these pleas.
The FBI is grateful for everyone’s untiring commitment in bringing a final
resolution to this matter.”

The United States Attorneys’ Offices for the Northern Districts of Alabama
and Georgia are in the process of contacting the victims of the three Atlanta
bombings and the Birmingham bombing to inform them of the upcoming plea
hearings. Phone lines have been established for victims to receive updated
information: for the victims of the three Atlanta bombings, the toll-free
number is (866) 290-2782; victims of the Birmingham bombing may contact
(205) 244-2015.

Special Agents of the FBI and ATF investigated these cases and conducted
the render-safe operations. Several other law enforcement agencies
participated in the operations in Western North Carolina, including: the U.S.
Forest Service and the National Park Service; the North Carolina Highway
Patrol; the Sheriff’s Office in Cherokee County; North Carolina State Bureau
of Investigations; and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources.

The Birmingham case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael W.
Whisonant and William R. Chambers of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the
Northern District of Alabama and Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Joseph Burby IV of
the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia. The Atlanta
case was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias, First Assistant U.S.
Attorney Sally Quillan Yates, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phyllis B. Sumner,
R. Joseph Burby IV and John Horn of the Northern District of Georgia.
Several offices of the FBI and ATF participated in the investigation and
search and render-safe operations, including: the FBI offices in Birmingham,
Alabama; Atlanta; and Charlotte, North Carolina, and the ATF offices in
Atlanta; Charlotte; and Nashville, Tennessee.

The Department of Justice, FBI and ATF will have no further comment on
these matters until after the plea hearings in Birmingham and Atlanta are
completed, at which point the respective United States Attorneys will have
press conferences in Birmingham and Atlanta. Further details on the timing
and location of the press conferences will follow, along with details of a
possible ATF and FBI briefing for the news media at the scene of the render-
safe operations in Western North Carolina.

CRM (202) 514-2008
TDD (202) 514-1888
http://WWW.USDOJ.GOV

Web Site: http://www.usdoj.gov http://www.atf.gov

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.