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Elian Gonzalez Case: Florida Relatives' Meeting with Government-Appointed Mental Health Experts Delayed

Aired April 10, 2000 - 1:29 p.m. ET

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

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: We're keeping an eye this afternoon on the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, where a meeting on the future of Elian Gonzalez is scheduled to take place. Government-appointed mental health experts have arrived for a discussion with Elian's great uncle, Lazaro Gonzalez. Gonzalez isn't there yet, and it is unclear at this point when that meeting will start, or if it will start. The session is supposed to focus on preparations for a reunion between Elian and his father, but Elian's Florida relatives continue their fight to retain custody.

CNN's Susan Candiotti is down in Little Havana again today and joins us now live with the latest on the story -- Susan.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Lou. That meeting is on hold at this hour because Elian's great uncle, Lazaro Gonzalez, is at the hospital meeting with his daughter and with her doctors.

She is being treated, Marisleysis Gonzalez, for an ongoing medical condition. Now, a few hours ago, Lazaro Gonzalez left his house here with 6-year-old Elian in tow to head over to the hospital for a visit with her Marisleysis, and to meet with those doctors.

One of Mr. Gonzalez's attorneys says that U.S. Immigration has been told that Lazaro Gonzalez needs more time to meet with his daughter and with her physicians, that the meeting has not been canceled, not yet anyway.

Now, on the legal front, attorneys for the Florida relatives here of Elian Gonzalez are expected to file a brief with the circuit court of appeals in Atlanta by 4:00 this afternoon. The attorneys are challenging an earlier court ruling, and they are trying to urge the court of appeals to grant them a political asylum hearing for 6-year- old Elian Gonzalez.

Also, in state family court here in Miami, over the weekend, attorneys also filed for an emergency evidenciary hearing. They want the opportunity to try to prove to the courts that if Elian was returned to Cuba that he would be in imminent danger. Now court date has been set, and the judge has asked that legal briefs be filed regarding for jurisdiction in the case by tomorrow morning.

Meantime, a quick live look now at the police barricades, where about 30 to 40 demonstrators are standing by. It is quiet at this hour. However, at 8:00 this night, a candle light vigil is planned just a few blocks from here by people who want to protest a reunion between father and son -- Lou.

WATERS: All right, Susan Candiotti keeping watch in Little Havana today.

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