WIRE EMBARGO UNTIL 10:30 A.M.                                  AG
TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 1997                            (202) 616-2777
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


     "On September 13, 1995, the Justice Department's Office of
Inspector General announced that it would investigate allegations
made by Frederic Whitehurst about the FBI laboratory.   That
decision had my full support, and we made sure the Inspector
General had the independence and resources necessary to do the
job right.  

     "This report is important, because the FBI lab is so
important to our country.  The lab conducts more than 600,000
examinations a year, and it is a critical tool in our quest to
insure that criminals are punished and the innocent are
exonerated.  I believe that the vast majority of the public
servants who work there do careful, conscientious, professional

     "That is why it was so important that these allegations be
investigated thoroughly and independently.  And that is why we
are making the results available for all to see.  As the
Inspector General concluded, most of the allegations were not
substantiated.  Today's report does identify significant
instances of testimonial errors, substandard analytical work, and
deficient practices.  However, it also found that allegations of
fabrication of evidnce, perjury, obstruction of justice and
suppression of evidence, as alleged by Dr. Whitehurst, were not
supported by the evidence.

     "When the Inspector General announced his probe, Director
Freeh promised his full cooperation.  As the Inspector General
noted, the FBI has kept that promise, and Director Freeh has
supported the investigation througout.  Director Freeh also began
to address many of the problems identified in the laboratory, and
substantial steps have been taken already.  Director Freeh and
Deputy Director Bill Esposito have personally assured me that
they are committed to insuring that the FBI continues to be one
of the world's premier crime laboratories. 
     "After the allegations were made, the Justice Department's
Criminal Division began reviewing cases to comply with the
Supreme Court's 1963 Brady decision, which requires disclosure of
information that is favorable to a defendant.  For more than a
year, career attorneys have reviewed thousands of cases involving
work by lab employees whose performance Mr. Whitehurst or others
criticized.  So far, only 55 cases have been identified
nationwide where prosecutors needed to be alerted of the need for
a possible Brady disclosure.   Upon receiving those materials,
prosecutors decided that disclosure was needed in only 25 of
those 55 cases.  And to date, the work of the FBI lab has been
examined and litigated in 13 of those 25 cases, and in all 13
there has been no change in the outcome of the case.

     "Inspector General Bromwich and his staff deserve
commendation for their hard work and commitment.  They have
striven to insure that this report is thorough, fair, and
forward-looking, and they have succeeded.   We are also grateful
to the panel of five independent scientists and forensic experts
who committed their considerable talents, energy, and expertise
to this inquiry.

     "Finally, I want to personally assure every American that
the FBI laboratory is capable of performing its mission: to
provide law enforcement around the world with high quality,
unbiased analyses that will help solve crimes, punish the guilty
and exonerate the innocent.   Today's report, and the reforms
underway at the FBI, send a direct message to the American
people: the Justice Department can identify problems, it can act
on them, and it will never stop working to improve its