NEW YORK (AP) - Federal authorities have been granted permission to seize the fossil of a dinosaur they say was illegally brought to the United States from Mongolia.
Judge Kevin Castel signed an order Tuesday after finding there was "probable cause to believe" that the nearly complete Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton is subject to forfeiture under U.S. laws.
U.S. authorities sued Monday. They said they want to return the skeleton to Mongolia, where it was believed to have been unearthed in the last two decades.
An executive for the Dallas-based The Heritage Auctions has said a consignor bought the fossils in good faith and spent money and time to prepare them for sale.
The fossil was recently sold for more than $1 million, though the sale depends on the outcome of litigation.
The Associated Press