::Nifong Criticizes AG Cooper In Statement
By Elliott West, Raleigh Chronicle News Editor
Thursday, April 12, 2007
DURHAM - In a letter sent out today to the media, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong issued a brief apology to the three men charged in the Duke lacrosse case but also took the opportunity to criticize NC Attorney General Roy Cooper.
In the release (senn below at right), Nifong seemed to disagree with some comments Attorney General Roy Cooper made at the nationally televised press conference on Wednesday in Raleigh [see story and video] where Cooper announced that all three former Duke students were "innocent" of any allegations against them and that all charges were being dismissed.
"While I certainly take issue with some of Mr. Cooper's comments, I want to make it clear that I have every confidence in the investigation into the case that was conducted by his office," said Nifong in his statement.
During Attorney General Cooper's speech on Wednesday and in the question and answer session, he referred to Nifong as a "rogue" district attorney and that his actions in the case went "unchecked."
Nifong, in his statement today, went on to say he disagreed with Cooper's use of those words.
"It is important to remember that the Attorney General had the opportunity to review this investigation...because I requested that he do so," said Nifong in his statement. "...The fact that I instead chose to seek that review should, in and of itself, call into question the characterizations of this prosecution as 'rogue' and 'unchecked.'"
In the third and final paragraph of the his statement, Nifong got around to apologizing to the former Duke students in the case Reade Seligmann, David Evans and Collin Finnerty, although he never mentions them by name.
"To the extent that I made judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect, I apologize to the three students who were wrongly accused," said Nifong.
"I also understand that, whenver someone has been wrongly accused, the harm caused by the accusations might not be immediately undone merely by dismissing them. It is my sincere desire that the actions of Attorney General Cooper will serve to remedy any remaining injury that has resulted from these cases."
For the full text of Nifong's statement, please see the graphic at the right.. ::