Judge schedules Cobell hearing
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U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth has scheduled a hearing this afternoon in the Cobell litigation.

The hearing will address an attempt by the Bush administration to limit the testimony of Deputy Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles, his aide Jim Cason and Ross Swimmer. Government attorneys are challenging the court's authority to conduct the depositions.

Attorneys for the Cobell plaintiffs are seeking to interview the Department of Interior officials as part of an ongoing investigation into their handling of Indian funds. They were taking the testimony of Cason this morning when a challenge was raised.

Keith Harper of the Native American Rights Fund, an attorney representing the Indian beneficiaries, said a ruling on the issue is crucial.

Lamberth could issue an order to compel full cooperation of the Bush officials. Or he could limit the their testimony to certain subjects.

The hearing will be held at 5 p.m. in the Federal District Courthouse in Washington, D.C.,

Relevant Links:
U.S. District Court - Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton -

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