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Elian Gonzalez Case: Negotiations Shift from Tuesday Deadline

Aired April 3, 2000 - 2:28 p.m. ET

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

DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: And the battle over Elian Gonzalez, the young Cuban boy who is in Miami currently and his father wants him back in Cuba, continues. We're getting down the wire. We have some new information for you from our Justice Department correspondent, Pierre Thomas -- Pierre.

PIERRE THOMAS, CNN JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: Donna, CNN has just learned that there has been a shift in the negotiations in Miami. the shift is from talking about revoking the boy's parole effective at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow to whether the father can have custody of the boy once he comes to the United States. That has been the shift in the negotiations.

What this means is that the family would agree to voluntarily turn the boy over to father at some point effective after the father comes to the U.S. Secondly, they would work out details of what that transfer would take place, where it would take place, when it would take place, and how it would take place. So again, there is a move from whether the boy's parole should be revoked effective tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. to whether the family will agree to transfer the boy's custody to the father effective once he comes to the United States -- Donna.

KELLEY: Pierre there have been about 28 visa applications applied for. They are trying to do this in a psychologically sensitive way to the boy. Does this mean that all the appeals, though, are exhausted by the Miami family?

THOMAS: Well, Donna, these negotiations are on-going. It is unclear exactly how this will impact the appeals process. Again, what the Justice Department is trying to do, along with the family, is work out an orderly process for the transfer of the boy to the custody of his father once the father comes to the United States. The critical question is whether the family will agree to these new tactics by the Justice Department.

KELLEY: All right, Pierre Thomas, thanks, with the new information and we'll continue to follow the story.

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