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Duking It Out With the Times

Stuart Taylor, Jr. unloads - and I mean unloads - on the New York Times for its recent front pager on the Duke Lacrosse case authored by Duff Wilson and Jonathan Glater. (You can read what I wrote about the NYT piece last week here).

In a related nugget of embarrassing news for Durham DA Mike Nifong, yesterday a judge threw out the three year old misdemeanor shoplifting charges Nifong's office brought against Moezeldin Ahmed Elmostafa, the taxi driver who is central to indicted Duke Lacrosse player Reade Seligmann's alibi. The Durham Herald-Sun reports:

Several defense lawyers had accused District Attorney Mike Nifong of bringing the misdemeanor shoplifting charge against Elmostafa as a pressure tactic in the controversial rape case.

In April, Elmostafa signed a sworn affidavit saying he drove Duke lacrosse player Reade Seligmann to a bank machine, a fast-food restaurant and a campus dorm at about the time an exotic dancer claimed she was raped by Seligmann and two others at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. in mid-March.

A month later, Elmostafa was arrested on a 2003 warrant charging him with shoplifting at the Hecht's department store at Northgate Mall. The charge was reduced to aiding and abetting earlier this month.

The prosecutor in the case said he was the one who had the warrant served against Elmostafa and denied there was any motive to intimidate. He says the reason the DA's office waited three years to bring charges is because there had been a misspelling of Elmostafa's name. With Nifong's credibility already in the tank, that seems farfetched. Read the rest of the story and decide for yourself.