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Elian Gonzalez Case: Lawyers for Miami Relatives Must Respond to Government Request for Court Order by Tonight

Aired April 14, 2000 - 2:33 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: CNN's Mark Potter is keeping track of developments in the Elian Gonzalez saga. He has some new information for us.

Mark, what is happening?

MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has given the lawyers for Elian Gonzalez and his Miami relatives until 9:00 p.m. tonight to respond to a government request for a court order that would require the relatives here to turn Elian over to his father. The government filed that request this morning.

The government is saying, in exchange for that order, it would guarantee that Elian stays in the United States for the length of the appeals process. It would do that by issuing what is known as a departure control order, the boy would not be allowed legally to leave the United States. The father could come and go, but the boy could not.

Now we don't know how the lawyers are going to respond to this, but we can say that all along, they have been opposed to an immediate transfer of Elian to his father. We also do not know how long it will take the judges to rule on this request, on a request filed by the family lawyers for a temporary injunction, but do we know that a spokesperson for the U.S. Justice Department says that it appears judges have this case on a fast track.

Mark Potter, CNN, reporting live from Miami.

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