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Cooper Says His Office Needs Federal Assistance In Nifong Case

State Attorney General Roy Cooper says his office lacks the legal tools needed to conduct an efficient investigation into the conduct of former Durham County prosecutor Mike Nifong.

This week, the U.S. Department of Justice said it has no plans
to aid any state investigation into Nifong's handling of the
discredited Duke lacrosse rape case.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Cooper said Thursday
that decision makes a state investigation difficult, since only
federal authorities can convene investigative grand juries and seek
indictments against witnesses who lie to federal investigators.

Cooper has pressed lawmakers to give state prosecutors the
authority to convene investigative grand juries to question
witnesses in public corruption cases. He also wants to be able to
charge people who lie to State Bureau of Investigation agents.

Prosecutors in Cooper's office who took over the lacrosse case
concluded the three players Nifong charged with rape were innocent.

Nifong later resigned from office and was disbarred.


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