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Walker to go Over to Justice

Aired January 15, 2002 - 14:39   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We are getting word that our John King has developments to report on the case of John Walker, the American who was fighting for the Taliban. John, what is the word?

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Leon, details still hard to come by but senior administration sources tell CNN that the Justice Department is preparing to take custody of that American Taliban fighter John Walker. he has been held by the Defense Department since he was taken into U.S. custody in Afghanistan. Someone who was fighting with the Taliban forces in Afghanistan, he has been held on a U.S. naval vessel.

A senior administration official telling me moments ago to the best of his knowledge, at least as of a bit earlier today, John walker remained in the custody of the Department of Defense, but we are told he will be turned over to the U.S. Justice Department, brought home to the United States and charged.

We do not know yet the details of those charges. We are told there could be an announcement from the attorney general as early as later this afternoon, but there has been a debate within the administration, about how to handle the case, whether he should be handled within the Department of Defense or the Department of Justice.

We are now told that decision has been made and John Walker's return to the Justice Department, turn over to Justice Department custody is imminent and that more details on the charges could become available as early as later this afternoon -- Leon.

HARRIS: John King from the White House. Thank you very much. We are hearing, John, there is going to be a press conference, John Ashcroft the attorney general is going to have a press conference at 3:30 Eastern and we will have live coverage of that, and we expect he will have some more details for us on that story and this development with John Walker. Thank you.

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