U.S. government to file another pro-Spain brief in treasure case

From Trading Markets

A federal judge ruled that the U.S. government may present a new motion favorable to the interests of Spain in the battle over $500 million in gold and silver coins salvaged more than two years ago by a Florida treasure-hunting

Steven D. Merryday, the federal district judge in Tampa, Florida, who is hearing the case pitting the Spanish state against Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc., rejected the motion presented by the U.S. government on Aug. 27 in defense of Spain's interests.

But he gave Washington until Oct. 2 to present a new motion and written report of no more than 10 pages, according to what sources with Odyssey told Efe on Tuesday.

The U.S. Justice Department presented itself as a friend of the court in the civil proceedings between Odyssey and Spain to determine who owns the more than 17 tons of treasure that the Tampa-based firm brought up from the bottom of the Atlantic in 2007.

Immediately, Odyssey asked the Florida court to reject the U.S. government report, which cites a 1902 friendship treaty between Washington and Madrid.

The original U.S. motion was presented four days before the Spanish government responded, over Odyssey's objections that it opposed the recommendation of another judge to hand over to Spain the treasure consisting of 594,000 gold and silver coins.


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