US officials debating response to 'targeted killing' suit

April 24, 2012 03:55


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NEW YORK - The US Attorney General has personally asked for more time for the government to file papers in a lawsuit launched by a civil liberties group seeking the legal records authorizing strikes that have killed US citizens abroad.

In a publicly filed letter on Monday to US District judge Colleen McMahon, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said that Attorney General Eric Holder had instructed them to request an extension.

Holder "has personally directed us to seek this additional time to allow the government to finalize its position with regard to the sensitive national security matters presented in this case," the prosecutors - who represent the US government in this case - said.

"Given the significance of the matters presented in this case, the government's position is being deliberated at the highest level of the executive branch," the letter said.

Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the US Justice Department, declined to comment on the court filing.

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