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The BBC's Rob Watson reports
"There was nothing in the FBI documents that would prove his innocence"
 real 56k

Elisabeth Semel, leading criminal defence lawyer
"The court is limited to considering the evidence before it"
 real 56k

Monday, 4 June, 2001, 19:37 GMT 20:37 UK
Prosecutors oppose McVeigh delay
The Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City after bomb explosion
The worst peacetime attack on US soil killed 168 people
United States federal prosecutors have rejected defence calls for a delay to the execution for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Prosecutor Sean Connelly said in his brief that newly released documents do not have any bearing on McVeigh's conviction and sentence.


Timothy McVeigh does not and could not suggest he is actually innocent of the charges of which the jury convicted him

Prosecutor
McVeigh's lawyers said they wanted a hearing to investigate "fraud upon the court" after the FBI revealed thousands of pages of evidence it had failed to give defence lawyers before his trial.

The original trial judge, Richard Matsch, has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday to decide whether to go ahead with the execution.

The 33-year-old Gulf War veteran faces death by lethal injection, currently scheduled to take place just five days later, on 11 June.

He has been convicted for the 1995 bombing that killed 168 people and injured hundreds of others.

FBI papers

McVeigh's execution, initially set for 16 May, was postponed after the Justice Department handed in about 4,000 FBI documents it admitted should have been given to McVeigh's lawyers during his trial.

Timothy McVeigh
McVeigh has admitted his guilt
The US Government insists there is nothing in the FBI documents that would help McVeigh, especially given his admission of the bombing.

In the past, McVeigh has always waived opportunities to appeal, believing his execution would help publicise his anti-government crusade.

If the execution occurs as planned, McVeigh will be the first federal prisoner to be executed in 38 years.

About 250 survivors and relatives of those killed in the Oklahoma bombing will be allowed to watch the execution via closed-circuit television (CCTV).

McVeigh said the bombing - the worst act of mass killing in modern US history - was motivated by anti-government rage, including retribution for the 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas.

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See also:

29 May 01 | Americas
McVeigh stay of execution sought
22 May 01 | Americas
McVeigh's legal team beefed up
16 May 01 | Americas
FBI admits McVeigh blunder
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