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Prosecutor Helps bin Laden Hunt

October 11, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ The Manhattan prosecutor in rapper Sean ``P. Diddy″ Combs’ weapons and bribery trial is joining the forces hunting Osama bin Laden.

Matthew Bogdanos, a U.S. Marine Reserve lieutenant colonel for the past 23 years, says his family is upset _ more than he is, but he’s going because, ``It’s my duty. I don’t know any other way to say it.″

``For me to complain about being called to war is a like a district attorney complaining about being called to trial,″ the 44-year-old prosecutor said.

Bogdanos’ wife, also a lawyer, is eight months pregnant with their third child, a girl who likely will be born while he is away. Their other two children are younger than 5 years old.

His last day in the district attorney’s office is Wednesday. Then he’s off to Tampa, Fla., to report to the military command that runs American military operations in the Middle East and in what he calls the ``stans.″

Since 1998, that area has been Bogdanos’ specialty; he has visited Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan several times. Uzbekistan has a 200-mile border with Afghanistan, bin Laden’s last known hiding place and the target of U.S. bombs over the past several days in retaliation for last month’s terrorist attacks.

Bogdanos prosecuted Combs, who was acquitted in March of charges in a 1999 nightclub shooting.

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