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Breaking News

Juan Miguel Gonzalez's Attorney Delivers Statement Accusing Gonzalez Family in Miami of Breaking the Law

Aired April 13, 2000 - 3:20 p.m. ET

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

BOBBIE BATTISTA, CNN ANCHOR: I was going to ask you to evaluate that tape for us very quickly, but apparently Greg Craig, Juan Miguel Gonzalez's attorney is speaking.

GREGORY CRAIG, ATTORNEY FOR JUAN MIGUEL GONZALEZ: Good afternoon. Throughout these past months, Lazaro Gonzalez and his lawyers have told the world that he would obey the law. Today, Lazaro Gonzalez defied the nation's chief law enforcement officers and publicly and belligerently refused to turn Elian over to his father.

Today, the Florida state court dismissed the case that Lazaro brought against Juan Miguel and eliminated any and all claims under state law that Lazaro had any legal right to keep the boy. Today, Lazaro Gonzalez broke the law.

Let the record be absolutely clear on this point, Lazaro Gonzalez and those who assist him now are in violation not only of federal law but also of state law. Elian Gonzalez is being held unlawfully in Miami against his father's wishes.

This is a country that was founded upon respect for the rule of law. Respect for the rule of law requires the enforcement of the law. It is -- it is time, finally and at long last, to show that the country, its officials and its citizens adhere to that fundamental principle. The law must be respected, and the attorney general must enforce the law.

Elian Gonzalez must be returned to his -- his father. Juan Miguel Gonzalez came to this country eight days ago expecting to be reunited with his son. Since he arrived, he has had to live the nightmare that he most dreaded. While waiting here for his son to be returned to him, he has been forced to watch Elian, exploited by those who have him in their care, on the morning shows, on national television, in the streets of Miami and now, most recently, in a videotape taken of Elian in his own bedroom.

Not only have these relatives broken the law, they have emotionally damaged and exploited this most wonderful little boy. Juan Miguel Gonzalez asks only this: that the laws of this nation be enforced; that the exploitation of his son come to an end and that Elian be returned to his care and custody. Thank you very much.

BATTISTA: Greg Craig, the attorney for Juan Miguel Gonzalez, Elian's father, accusing the Gonzalez family in Miami of breaking the law and holding young Elian against his wishes.

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