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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 April, 2005, 06:58 GMT 07:58 UK
Atlanta bomb suspect strikes deal
Eric Rudolph during his 2003 arrest
Eric Rudolph is believed to have lived rough for five years
The US man accused of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic bombing, Eric Rudolph, has pleaded guilty to all charges against him, the justice department says.

The bomb killed one person and injured more than 100. Mr Rudolph, 38, is also accused in connection with three other bomb attacks in the late 1990s.

He pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty if convicted.

The deal came two days after his trial opened for the bombing of an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama.

One off-duty police officer was killed in that explosion in 1998.

BOMBINGS BLAMED ON RUDOLPH
1996: Atlanta Olympic games, 1 dead
1997: Atlanta gay nightclub
1997: Atlanta abortion clinic
1998: Birmingham abortion clinic, 1 dead

In addition to the Olympics bombing, he is also accused of attacking a gay nightclub and another abortion clinic - all in Atlanta.

Under the deal Mr Rudolph would receive four life sentences without parole.

He also told authorities about explosives hidden in North Carolina as part of the bargain, according to a justice department press release.

Mr Rudolph is scheduled to plead guilty in court on Wednesday.

The defence has not commented on the plea so far.

A woman who was wounded in the Birmingham bombing called the deal disappointing.

"For what he did, the death penalty is what I believe fits the crime," Emily Lyons said.

Survival techniques

Mr Rudolph first came to the attention of investigators after a truck registered in his name was spotted leaving the scene of the Birmingham explosion.

It was the first bombing with which he was charged, and from that links were drawn with the Olympics attack two years earlier.

After he was identified Mr Rudolph slipped away into the mountains of North Carolina.

A former soldier, he used survivalist techniques to live off the land for more than five years, while he was on the FBI's list of 10 Most Wanted fugitives.

In May 2003 he was captured after being seen scavenging for food in North Carolina.

In the Olympic bombing, Mr Rudolph is suspected of hiding a device in a knapsack which he then placed among the crowds Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park on 27 July, 1996.

The fatal blast marred the Olympic Games and led to fears of US domestic terrorism.

Mr Rudolph's current trial is being held in Birmingham.



SEE ALSO:
Olympic bomb suspect in court
02 Jun 03 |  Americas
Olympic bomb suspect arrested
31 May 03 |  Americas


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