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Goodlatte Seeks Clarification from AG Holder on Soering Transfer

Press Release

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Congressman Bob Goodlatte sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder encouraging him to drop any proceedings on the transfer of convicted murderer Jens Soering to Germany and seeking clarification of Holder's recent testimony during the House Judiciary Committee's oversight hearing over the Department of Justice (DOJ). During the hearing Congressman Goodlatte asked Attorney General Holder about the status of former Governor Tim Kaine's request that convicted murderer Jens Soering be transferred from the Virginia prison system to Germany.

In his testimony, Attorney General Holder stated that DOJ cannot act on Governor Kaine's request until a determination is made about what Virginia's official position is on this matter. Specifically, he indicated that DOJ needed to wait to rule on this request until Virginia courts either upheld or denied Governor McDonnell's revocation of the transfer request.

"Virginia's official position on the transfer of Jens Soering couldn't be clearer," said Congressman Goodlatte. "Governor McDonnell, the Virginia General Assembly and the citizens of Virginia have all expressed overwhelming opposition to transferring Soering to Germany. Virginia's judicial process tried Soering for his crimes and he was found guilty. This transfer would undermine the judicial process here in Virginia and would undermine any sense of justice the family of the victims and the residents of Central Virginia have gained by his conviction."

Governor Bob McDonnell has written to the Department of Justice on two separate occasions officially revoking the Kaine Administration's request for the transfer. In March the Virginia General Assembly approved a resolution supporting Governor McDonnell's revocation of the request to transfer Soering. This resolution passed the Virginia House of Delegates by a vote of 97-0 and passed the Virginia Senate by voice vote. This resolution of support for the McDonnell revocation passed without a single dissenting vote, clearly illustrating the position that Virginia is adamantly opposed to Soering's transfer.

"I find the request made by former Governor Kaine, before he left office, to transfer Jens Soering to be reprehensible" said Rep. Goodlatte. "The Department of Justice has the ability to correct this reckless action by honoring Governor McDonnell's revocation and terminating any proceedings on the matter. "

Before leaving office Virginia Governor Tim Kaine requested a transfer for convicted murdered Jens Soering to Germany. The transfer of Soering to Germany would mean that he could conceivably serve just two additional years or less of his two life sentences for the brutal murders of Derek and Nancy Haysom.

Congressman Goodlatte has previously written to Attorney General Holder requesting that the Department of Justice reject the request made by former Governor Kaine.

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