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Randolph lawyers fire on ATF standards

March 30, 2005 at 4:11 PM

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., March 30 (UPI) -- Attorneys for accused abortion clinic bomber Eric Robert Rudolph grilled a federal explosives expert on evidence collection practices in his Alabama hearing.

Richard Strobel of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms spent Tuesday defending the government's techniques for examining trace evidence from bomb blasts, including the January 1998 bombing of a Birmingham abortion clinic.

Lawyers for Rudolph, 37, are looking to throw out testimony from government bomb and explosives experts, the Huntsville (Ala.) Times said Wednesday, arguing that some evidence and the lab work may have been contaminated.

Government prosecutors at the hearing to determine the admissibility of the evidence, however, argued the evidence had not been contaminated.

Rudolph has pleaded not guilty on a capital murder charge for the death of a police officer. If convicted, he faces the death penalty. He also is charged with a bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and other bombings in the Atlanta area in 1997.

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