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Evidence to be turned over to Tankleff

Martin Tankleff talks on his cell phone as

Martin Tankleff talks on his cell phone as he leaves court. (June 30, 2008) Credit: Newsday File /David L. Pokress

A federal magistrate last week ordered the state attorney general's office to turn over to Martin Tankleff's lawyers the evidence it considered in dropping charges against Tankleff in the deaths of his parents more than 22 years ago.

The decision by federal Magistrate William Wall, first reported by the New York Law Journal website Saturday, orders the attorney general's office to turn over evidence and notes to Tankleff by April 12.

"This is one more step in Marty's campaign to get to the truth," said one of his attorneys, Deborah Cornwall of Manhattan. "We expect the files . . . to include evidence that Suffolk police ignored and suppressed."

Tankleff, 39, served 17 years in prison after he was convicted of killing Seymour and Arlene Tankleff in their Belle Terre home. After detectives falsely told Tankleff his father -- who died weeks after the attack -- had implicated him in the attack, he confessed. But he immediately recanted and refused to sign the confession. An appellate court overturned Martin Tankleff's conviction in December 2007, ruling that a lower court did not properly consider new evidence that the killings might have been committed by hired hit men. Martin Tankleff has said that his father's business partner, Jerry Steuerman, was behind the killings. Steuerman under oath has denied any role in the killings.

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