Jesse Trentadue

A judge ordered the government to make Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols available for a videotaped interview by a Utah lawyer who is trying to learn more about the federal investigation behind the 1995 bombing.

Jesse Trentadue also can take a deposition from convicted killer David Paul Hammer, a death-row acquaintance of bomber Timothy McVeigh, who was executed in 2001.

U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball's decision was the second time he ordered the government to cooperate with interviews of Nichols at a maximum-security prison in Florence, Colo., and of Hammer, who is on death row in Terre Haute, Ind.

The FBI asked the judge to reconsider his order of a year ago. Kimball overruled that request on Thursday, along with the government's objection to the interviews for security reasons.

Government attorneys are "reviewing the order and considering our options," Melodie Rydalch, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Salt Lake City, said Friday.

Trentadue is looking into the death of his brother at a federal penitentiary in the frantic months after the Oklahoma City bombing. He believes that Kenny Trentadue, a convicted bank robber who was picked up on a parole violation, was mixed up at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City for an associate of McVeigh and killed in an interrogation gone awry.

Kimball's order was part of a long-running battle by Trentadue for FBI documents revealing what federal agents knew before and after the bombing that gutted a federal office building and killed 168.

Kimball closed Trentadue's Freedom of Information lawsuit with Thursday's order, but Trentadue said he can always renew a request for documents. He said he hopes the prison interviews will tip him off to confidential informants used by federal agents to gather information on McVeigh and his associates.