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Justice Department Responds to McVeigh Request for Execution Stay

Aired June 4, 2001 - 13:54   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: We have just learned that U.S. Justice Department has filed a response now to Timothy McVeigh's request for a stay of execution.

Let's go to CNN's Gina London; she's outside the federal courthouse in Denver -- Gina.

GINA LONDON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon, Natalie.

That's right, just moments ago, members of the federal prosecution team did drive up here to the courthouse in Denver and did deliver their written response. Now, of course, this response was due today, by order of Federal Judge Richard Matsch, who is presiding over all of this, and it's in response to last week's call for a stay of execution, that motion filed, of course, by Tim McVeigh's team.

What happens now is we're in the middle of getting that response stamped by the clerk. It goes to the federal judge. He reviews it, and then he's prepared better for Wednesday's hearing, when both sides prepare to argue why or why not Tim McVeigh should be granted another reprieve.

His execution, of course, is set for a week from today.

We don't have yet a copy of this government's response. When we do, we will see what it entails and whether or not it refutes many of the allegations included in last week's motion from the defense, among them the defense claiming that the government was perpetrating what they call a fraud against the court by withholding so many documents and just, in their view, releasing them recently, and in their view also, still having some documents yet to be released.

So again, the government, the federal prosecutors, have given in their written response to that motion to stay the execution of Tim McVeigh, and we'll give you more information as we get it -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Gina, do we know if Judge Matsch is going to issue his ruling immediately following this hearing on Wednesday, and will the content of some of these missing pieces of evidence be revealed in the court on Wednesday?

LONDON: Well, it's interesting, Natalie. This hearing is going to be open to public, although there is limited seating. But in the motion that was filed last week by the defense, there was a lot of information that they sealed. So it wasn't in what we got that was released to public. Now it's very possible that what was turned in again today by the government may also have some redacted sections, but those arguments could come out, perhaps, in the hearing on Wednesday.

We don't have a time line for how long the hearing will go. It starts at 9:00, here in Denver, but it could go even longer than one day. We are not perhaps sure.

Also, we're not sure exactly when the judge will issue his decision on whether or not to stay this execution again. But we also do know this: that whatever Judge Matsch does decide, Natalie, it is very likely that either side could appeal that decision.

ALLEN: And we will expect that, Gina London, outside the court in Denver.

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