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Breaking News

Elian's Father to Meet with Two Fisherman Tomorrow

Aired April 8, 2000 - 3:34 p.m. ET

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

GENE RANDALL, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to downtown Washington where we'll hear from Gregory Craig, the attorney for Juan Miguel Gonzalez, Elian's father.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GREGORY CRAIG, ATTORNEY FOR JUAN MIGUEL GONZALEZ: ... the government has assembled for the purpose of trying to smooth and ease the transfer of custody from Lazaro to Mr. Gonzalez, and again, we have to work out the details and the logistics of that, but there is no one more committed to doing this in a fashion that is easy and fast. We believe, we believe very deeply, that the best thing that can happen for this boy is for it to be very soon and very quick.

Thank you very much. Those are the two announcements I wanted to make. I'll take a couple of questions.

QUESTION: "The Washington Post" was reporting that the meeting with the experts was going to be tomorrow. Is that something hats that's going to happen?

CRAIG: The government of the United States has asked their panel to come here and asked if we would be available, if Mr. Gonzalez would be available to meet with them during the day tomorrow, and we have told them yes; we just don't know the details in terms of time and place.

QUESTION: What about uncle Delfin? Is Mr. Gonzalez willing to meet with him?

CRAIG: Well, you know, uncle Delfin and Mr. Gonzalez had a long conversation on the telephone yesterday about this issue. It's a little embarrassing, I think, for my client to have the Gonzalez family disputes being aired so publicly. But he has informed Delfin that the key thing here is restoring his son's to the father. The key thing is not having a family meeting, although family meetings are certainly possible.

But the first thick that has to happen is Lazaro has to take by the hand Elian Gonzalez and lead him to his father and say, here's your son, and until that happens, it's very difficult to contemplate anything more.

I know there's a lot of people who would like very much to have a family meeting. We've gotten letters from two very prominent and distinguished senators proposing such a meeting. I think that's very difficult to accomplish right now in light of the of the fact that Lazaro has sued Juan Miguel in state court in Florida. There's litigation. And Lazaro still has Elian.

I think I've talked enough about this. I just would stress what I think Juan Miguel has been saying for many, many days, and that is, the key thing here is to have Elian back in his father's custody and in his father's embrace.

Thank you very much.

RANDALL: Gregory Craig is the attorney for Juan Miguel Gonzalez, 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez' father. He says that the father will meet tomorrow with the two fisherman who traveled to the Washington area today from Florida. They are the two cousins who rescued Elian from the waters off the coast of Florida on Thanksgiving day. The attorney, Mr. Craig, also said that Mr. Gonzalez tomorrow would meet with the three mental health professionals appointed by the U.S. government to help in the transfer of custody of Elian to his father, apparently in the near future.

Further developments little as they warrant and more news at the top of hour at 4:00.

Now we join Jan Hopkins with MOVERS.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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