of Attorney General John Ashcroft
Regarding Removal Hearing for Eric Robert
General John Ashcroft released the following statement regarding the removal hearing
for Eric Robert Rudolph, which is being held this morning in the United States
District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in Asheville. Rudolph
was an FBI Top Ten Most Wanted fugitive until his arrest on Saturday. On November
15, 2000, he was indicted in both the Northern District of Alabama (Birmingham)
and the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta) on charges of committing bombings
in those cities that killed two people and injured more than 150 others:
January 29, 1998, an off-duty Birmingham, Alabama police officer was killed and
several others were seriously injured as a bomb ripped through the New Woman All
Women Health Care Clinic.
than two years earlier, in July 1996, a bomb exploded in Atlanta's Centennial
Olympic Park, killing a mother and injuring more than one hundred others. Atlanta
fell victim to two more attacks in January and again in February 1997.
all, two people were killed and over 150 innocent people were injured in these
seven years, the FBI, ATF as well as state and local law enforcement from Alabama,
Georgia, North Carolina and several other states across the country have investigated
and pursued the man who was charged with these crimes, Eric Robert Rudolph. They
never yielded, they never stopped looking, they kept up the pressure and never
gave up hope.
Saturday morning, the search ended in the quiet town of Murphy, North Carolina
as a young police officer and a deputy sheriff arrested and identified this fugitive
who had disappeared into the North Carolina wilderness and eluded justice for
morning the Department of Justice will ask the court in western North Carolina
to remove Eric Robert Rudolph to the Northern District of Alabama to face trial
for the Birmingham clinic bombing. We expect that trial to be relatively short
that trial is completed, Rudolph will be transferred to the Northern District
of Georgia to face the more complicated trial involving the three bombings there.
Our approach is designed to provide the best opportunity to bring justice to all
of the victims of the bombings, and to each community that experienced these terrorist
want to again thank the many agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as all of the
state and local law enforcement officers who worked diligently over several years
to put together these cases and whose continued vigilance led to the arrest of
this fugitive and the opportunity to bring him into a court of law to face the
charges against him. I also want to thank the prosecutors in the Northern District
of Georgia and the Northern District of Alabama, who have also worked hard on
these cases from the beginning and will now have the opportunity to present to
the public the evidence that has been gathered."