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Prosecutor Seeks Suit Dismissal

December 10, 1997

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) _ The prosecutor asked a court on Tuesday to dismiss a New York lawyer’s effort to compel him to file charges in the slaying of JonBenet Ramsey.

District Attorney Alex Hunter claims the premise of Darnay Hoffman’s suit is flawed and that Hoffman _ attorney for subway gunman Bernhard Goetz _ lacks the standing to invoke a Colorado law that allows private citizens to question the actions of prosecutors.

Hoffman filed the civil action last month, accusing Hunter of acting unreasonably in his refusal to file charges in the case. Hoffman claims independent handwriting analysis indicates JonBenet’s mother, Patsy, wrote the ransom note found hours before the child’s body was found in the family’s mansion.

But in a 32-page motion to dismiss Hoffman’s claim, Hunter and Police Chief Tom Koby say the investigation is not complete and has not been referred to the district attorney’s office. Therefore, Hunter said he has not yet refused to prosecute.

``Hoffman is a New York lawyer who is not licensed to practice law in Colorado. He has no client at all, much less one with a recognizable interest in this case,″ Hunter’s motion said.

Hoffman said Colorado law gives him the right to question Hunter’s actions, even if he lives in New York and has no client involved.

``He’s obligated to bring a case if he believes a crime has been committed, even if the police don’t bring a case,″ Hoffman said. ``A lot of cases are initiated by the district attorney.″

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