UNCLASSIFIED FBB 892
[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies on pdf]
0 0615TYZ FEB 79
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8921
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 0577
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CARR, (BEIKMAN, CHARLES), (JONES, STEPHAN), (PEOPLE’S TEMPLE)
SUBJ: W/W ARRESTS: CHARLES BEIKMAN, STEPHAN JONES; MAGISTRATE DISCHARGES JONES, COMMITS BEIKMAN TO JURY TRIAL.
REF: GEORGETOWN 0576
1. Magistrate Persaud today (Feb 6) read his decision in court on the preliminary inquiry into the deaths of Linda Sharon Harris (a.k.a. Sharon Amos) et al. Persaud said that based on the “totality” of evidence Beikman could have murdered Sharon Amos. He ordered Beikman to stand trial at the next session of the High Court, which begins on April 3, 1979. Persaud said that in relation to Stephan Jones, the state had produced no evidence that he was involved in a conspiracy to murder. The magistrate agreed with the defense argument that Jones’ confession on December 18 was made out of pique and was unreliable. Persaud discharged Jones from custody.
2. Comment: As Embassy has pointed out in previous communications, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has the power to commit Jones to stand trial even if the magistrate decides that a prima facie case has not improved. Prosecuting Counsel [Carlton] Weithers
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informed Emboff [Embassy Officer] after decision was announced that DPP will review depositions taken during preliminary inquiry and decide whether to order Jones to stand trial. DPP is expected to announce his decision within 10 days. End comment.
Burke [John Burke, American ambassador to Guyana]