DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
COMMUNICATION MESSAGE FORM
FM DIRECTOR FBI
TO FBI, SAN FRANCISCO PRIORITY
LEGAL ATTACHÉ CARACAS PRIORITY
By teletype dated March 9, 1979, State Department, Washington, D.C., furnished the following information to American Embassy, Georgetown, Guyana:
Copies of two travel reports prepared by Hergen of Justice have been dispatched to Embassy.
Please advise on status of Embassy’s request to GOG for return of additional checks in amount of approximately dollars 138,000, which are now being held by Assistant Commissioner Roberts. (FYI. Contrary to our earlier assumptions, we have now learned from Treasury that for all practical purposes US Government checks, after
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endorsement by payee, may be negotiated at any time; i.e., they do not repeat not become stale after six months. End FYI).
Justice and State are in the process of attempting to determine proper disposition of US Government checks now being held at Embassy. Embassy will be consulted regarding final decision in the near future.
Department has learned that Peoples Temple survivors allegedly filed a counter suit against GOG in Guyana. Please confirm, and if possible, pouch sonnest [soonest] copy of counterclaim.
Please advise whether Embassy is yet an opportunity to discuss Fortune’s March 2, 1979, memo with attorney Gillett; if so, what were Gillett’s comments with respect thereto.
Justice has not repeat not reached final decision regarding litigation in Guyana. (FYI One of the proposals under consideration is that the United States might refrain from litigation in Guyana, if the Receiver agrees to participate in the proceeding and take all actions necessary to preserve PT assets and return any residue to US court.
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Justice requests that Embassy contact Skip Roberts to ascertain what, if anything, local authorities are doing to monitor activities of PT survivors in Georgetown, e.g., are survivors under surveillance; are they free to travel, and if so, have any of the survivors traveled outside Guyana.
Embassy is correct the documents or information sought for investigative purposes are exempt from Privacy Act. Department has received request from Justice for information which GOG has or is able to obtain. Text of requests as follows:
“In connection with the pending FBI and grand jury investigations of possible violations of United States laws with respect to the murder of Congressman Leo Ryan and the operations of the People’s Temple in the United States and Guyana, it has come to our attention that the Guyanese government is in possession of, or able to obtain, certain information and/or evidence which may further these investigations.
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It is hereby requested that our Embassy in Guyana lend its assistance to the obtaining of this information and/or evidence on behalf of the FBI and grand jury. Such investigative information is exempt from the coverage of the Privacy Act pursuant to 5 USC 552A (b) (7).”
In view of Justice request, Embassy is authorized to seek from GOG records and information requested by Legat, Caracas, and to transfer these to Legat when received under exemption to Privacy Act contained 5 USC 552A (b) (7) and to respond to request contained in para 7.