Cuomo tapped as special prosecutor in Tankleff case

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been appointed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer as a special prosecutor for the murder case of Martin Tankleff, who served 17 years in prison before an appeals court overturned

News 12 Staff

Jan 14, 2008, 1:56 PM

Updated 6,026 days ago

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Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been appointed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer as a special prosecutor for the murder case of Martin Tankleff, who served 17 years in prison before an appeals court overturned his conviction.
Tankleff was convicted in the 1988 slayings of his adoptive parents, Seymour and Arlene Tankleff, in their upscale Belle Terre home. After years of legal battles, a state appeals court ordered Tankleff a new trial last month and released him on $1 million bail.
On Jan. 2, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota announced he would drop the murder charges against Tankleff. Spota said it was no longer possible to reasonably assert that retrying the case would be successful. Spota?s office was to formally drop the indictment against Tankleff at a scheduled Jan. 18 court conference.
However, Cuomo may not be ready by that date to decide if Tankleff should face a new trial.
"My only mandate here is to find the truth and to follow the evidence and that's what we'll do. We're wholly independent, we haven't taken any position on the matter," said Cuomo. ?We'll have a fresh set of eyes by an independent set of prosecutors look at everything, and then we'll follow the evidence. We'll find the truth."
"If called upon, we will cooperate fully and completely with the Attorney General's Office," Spota said to News 12 Long Island.
Tankleff's family believes the independent prosecutor's investigation will also find him innocent. Tankleff's attorney, Bruce Barkett, says he will cooperate fully with the special prosecutor.
Related Information Martin Tankleff set free on $1M bailPreviousTankleff coverageMartinTankleff: The Case Reviewed


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