[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 1543 of the FBI’s RYMUR release.]
UNCLASSIFIED FBB 787
[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies on pdf]
0 131240Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8434
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 4242
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CARR, PGOV, GY (BEIKMAN, CHARLES) (PEOPLE’S TEMPLE)
SUBJ: W/W ARRESTS: CHARLES EDWARD BEIKMAN
REF: GEORGETOWN 4180
1. Preliminary hearing into the alleged murders of Linda Sharon Harris (a.k.a. Sharon Amos) and her three children was resaged yesterday (Dec 11). Session scheduled for December 9 was canceled by Magistrate Christian as defense counsel failed to appear.
2. At the start of yesterday’s hearing, Christian read to the court the section of Guyanese law restricting publication of the proceedings of preliminary inquiries under the Criminal Law Act. For the Department’s information, it is against Guyanese law to publish for public consumption any details of a preliminary hearing except for “(a) the names, addresses, and occupation of the accused person and witnesses; (b) a concise statement of the charge and the defense in support of which evidence has been given; (c) submission on any point of law arising in the course of the inquiry and the decision of the magistrate thereon…” Except as otherwise directed by the Magistrate. Christian said he was reading the section of the law merely for information, and not because of any violation of the law by media representatives.
Page 02 George 04242 131344Z
3. Two new witnesses were called upon to testify yesterday, including Stephan Jones, the son of the late Rev. Jim Jones.
4. The hearing is scheduled to resume Dec 15.
Burke [John Burke, American Ambassador to Guyana]