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Justice rejects McVeigh's attorney claims

McVeigh is scheduled to die June 11 at a federal prison in Indiana
McVeigh is scheduled to die June 11 at a federal prison in Indiana  


From Terry Frieden
CNN Justice Department producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Justice Department on Thursday promptly rejected the assertion by lawyers for Timothy McVeigh that the government still has failed to provide documents relating to the Oklahoma City bombing investigation.

In announcing McVeigh's decision to seek a stay of execution, defense counsel Robert Nigh said he had received another FBI interview summary from the Justice Department on Wednesday. Nigh said he believes additional government documents have not been provided to the defense.

In response, the Justice Department released its letter written to McVeigh's defense team Wednesday, which accompanied and explained why the government was providing the additional document.

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McVeigh defense prepares to request stay
 
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Execution of Timothy McVeigh
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In a press conference, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft discusses FBI handling of documents in the McVeigh bombing case (May 24)

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"This document was from a separate investigation and from a separate case file," said Justice spokesperson Chris Watney. She said the document was provided to the defense lawyers because of allegations on the previous day by former FBI agent Rick Ojeda that he believed not all of his documents relating to the Oklahoma City investigation had been turned over.

"In light of the recent allegations by Ojeda, we have provided to the defense a copy of a report on an interview in a different case file," Watney said. She reiterated Attorney General John Ashcroft's contention Wednesday that the government is not aware of any Oklahoma City bombing investigation documents which have not been turned over.

References to the precise nature of the interview referred to in the two-page letter were deleted, and Watney declined to characterize the contents of the FBI document turned over to McVeigh's lawyers Wednesday.

McVeigh is scheduled to die by lethal injection June 11 for bombing the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The April 19, 1995 blast killed 168 people.

Ashcroft, who was attending a conference in the Netherlands, issued a statement saying the department would "continue to pursue justice by seeking to carry out the sentence that was determined by a jury."


Greta@LAW







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