JUSTICE weighing document disclosure, source says

Wednesday, May 23rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Justice Department lawyers are considering whether to disclose information about what's in the FBI documents that were belatedly turned over to Timothy McVeigh's lawyers, an official said Wednesday.

The documents were discovered as the FBI was gathering all items that were part of the Oklahoma City bombing investigation. They were supposed to have been turned over to McVeigh's lawyers before his trial, but were not. The discovery led the Justice Department to postpone McVeigh's execution until June 11.

McVeigh's lawyers are examining the documents. They say their client is looking at his options and whether there's anything in the documents that might prompt him to ask for an appeal or stay of his execution.

The Justice Department and the FBI say there's nothing in the documents that would cast doubt on McVeigh's guilt or conviction. The department is looking at whether to provide some details about the contents of the documents. One possibility would be to file papers in federal court.

The government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said no decision had yet been made about whether to further characterize the documents.