State Department requests time extension

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
In a Consent Motion filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the US State Department requested for an extension of time to respond to the LTTE's Procedural Motion claiming the rights to full access of the State Departments administrative record.

On October 8, 1997 the Secretary of State designated thirty organizations as 'foreign terrorist organizations' under the Anti terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. LTTE was included in this list. The LTTE has petitioned the D.C Court for review of the Secretary's decision as allowed by the statutory scheme.

The US State Department filed the complete administrative record compiled by the agency with the Court on Tuesday, January 20, 1998. This record contained both classified and unclassified information.

Under this D.C Court's January 14th, 1998 Order, the parties, the LTTE (Petitioner) and Department of State (Respondent) were required to file procedural motions within twenty days.

On February 10, 1998 the LTTE filed its Procedural Motion, requesting various forms of relief, including access to the classified materials contained in the administrative record.

The State Department's response to this procedural motion is currently due on February 20, 1998 - today.

The Consent Motion filed on February 19, 1998 by the State Department states, "the Secretary's designation of the LTTE as a foreign terrorist organization was reached in consultation with various federal agencies, including the Department of Treasury, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and various Divisions within the Department of Justice. Preparation of a response to petitioner's motion will require consultation with the Department of State as well as these various agencies, which consultation will require a certain period of time."

Also citing that the responsible staff has long-standing plans to be away from District of Columbia during the latter half of this week, the State Department "moves for a seven-day extension of time, to and including February 27, 1998, within which to file its response to petitioner's Procedural Motion."

The Consent Motion also noted that the petitioner's (LTTE's) counsel has authorized the State Department to state that they consent to granting of the motion.

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12.02.98   LTTE seeks access to "secret" records


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