Jan 22, 1979 • 1305 • Georgetown-State • 0306

[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 1728 of the FBI’s RYMUR release.]

0 221305Z JAN 79
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8774
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 0306
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CARR, GY (JONES, STEPHAN) (BEIKMAN, CHARLES) (PEOPLES TEMPLE)
SUBJ: W/W ARRESTS: STEPHAN JONES: CHARLES BEIKMAN
REF: A. 78 GEORGETOWN 4354 B. GEORGETOWN 0235

1. PRELIMINARY INQUIRY BEGAN FRIDAY (JAN 19) IN THE CASE OF THE MURDERS OF LINDA SHARON HARRIS (A.K.A. SHARON AMOS) ET AL. ONLY PERSON TESTIFIED WAS POLICE DETECTIVE ASST. SUPERINTENDENT [EUSTACE] LAM, WHO WAS PRESENT ON BOTH NOV 19 AND NOV 23 WHEN BEIKMAN MADE STATEMENTS TO THE POLICE CONCERNING THE MURDERS. SENIOR COUNSEL [REX] MCKAY OBJECTED TO THE INTRODUCTION OF THE SECOND STATEMENT AS EVIDENCE ON THE GROUNDS THAT IT WAS NOT GIVEN FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY. VOIR DIRE HEARING THEN BEGAN ON ADMISSIBILITY OF THE STATEMENT.

2. INQUIRY IS SCHEDULED TO RESUME JAN 22.

3. COMMENT: TECHNICALLY, THE PRELIMINARY INQUIRY CONDUCTED BY MAGISTRATE [DESMOND] CHRISTIAN UNTIL DEC 19 (REF A) UNDER WHICH BEIKMAN ALONE WAS CHARGED HAS BEEN SUSPENDED RATHER THAN CANCELED. AT FRIDAY’S SESSION, MCKAY NOTED THAT THE ORIGINAL INQUIRY CANNOT BE ADJOURNED SINE DIE, AND OBJECTED TO PROSECUTING COUNSEL’S REQUEST THAT THE INQUIRY BE RESUMED ON DEC 29, 1979 [1978]. MAGISTRATE [PREM] PERSAUD THEN SAID THE DATE

UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 02 GEORGETOWN 0306 221422Z

WITHIN A REASONABLE LENGTH OF TIME COULD BE SET BUT DID NOT FIX A DATE. UNDER GUYANESE LAW, IF BEIKMAN IS ACQUITTED OF THE JOINT CHARGES HE FACES WITH JONES, OR IF THE CASE DOES NOT GO TO TRIAL, BEIKMAN COULD STILL BE CHARGED ALONE ON THE SAME CHARGES, THE RESUMPTION OF THE ORIGINAL INQUIRY.

DWYER [Richard Dwyer, Deputy Chief of Mission, American Embassy, Georgetown]

Originally posted on October 21st, 2020.

Last modified on July 17th, 2022.
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