Conservative Group Requests DOJ Documents on Elian

By Bruce Sullivan | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

Washington ( - Conservative legal advocate Judicial Watch has filed an emergency motion in federal court asking for the immediate production of all Department of Justice documents concerning six-year-old Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez, learned on Wednesday.

"The American people deserve to know all the facts behind this terrible moment in American history, where our government acted like thugs in terrorizing innocent Cuban-American citizens who were trying to protect the liberty rights of this young Cuban boy," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told in an interview.

Last November, Elian was rescued from the Straits of Florida after a boat carrying Cubans trying to escape Fidel Castro's communist regime sank, drowning Elian's mother and several other refugees.

Elian was then put in the custody of his great-uncle Lazaro Gonzalez in Miami until the Justice Department and INS launched a pre-dawn raid last Saturday removing the child and giving him to his father Juan Gonzalez, who came from Cuba to claim his son.

The father and son are reported to be now staying together at a private home on Maryland's Eastern Shore about 70 miles east of Washington, DC.

Fitton said that Judge James Robertson will hold an emergency hearing on Wednesday on Judicial Watch's request that all Justice Department documents "concerning the Elian saga," including any correspondence the Clinton Administration has had with Fidel Castro's communist government in Havana, be made immediately available under the Freedom of Information Act.

"We hope Judge Robertson will grant our request within five days," said Fitton.

Fitton said that Judicial Watch has invited Lazaro Gonzalez and another relative of the boy to attend Judge Robertson's hearing, but he is uncertain if they will attend.