Feb 12, 1979 • 2010 • State-Georgetown • 36840

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1979STATE036840_e.html.]

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PAGE 01
STATE 036840
ORIGIN L-03
INFO OCT-01 ARA-15 ISO-00 JUSE-00 OCS-06 CA-01 H-02 SS-15 NSCE-00 TRSE-00 SSO-00 PA-02 ICAE-00 /045 R
DRAFTED BY L/ARA:T.FORTUNE:JV
APPROVED BY L/ARA:M.KOZAK
ARA/CAR – R. MCCOY
JUSTICE – J. HERGEN (SUBS)
DESIRED DISTRIBUTION
JUSTICE – JIM HERGEN
——————011757 122042Z /15

O 122010Z FEB 79
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS STATE 036840

E.O. 12065: N/A
TAGS: CASC, GY (PEOPLES TEMPLE)
SUBJECT: LEGAL ACTION FILED BY GOG AGAINST PEOPLES TEMPLE
REF: GEORGETOWN 00634

1. ENTIRE TEXT UNCLASSIFIED

2. IN VIEW OF INITIATION OF LEGAL ACTION BY GOG REPORTED IN REFTEL, IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT WE ASCERTAIN SOONEST MEANS THROUGH WHICH U.S. CAN ASSERT ITS CLAIM AGAINST TEMPLE PROPERTY IN LITIGATION INITIATED BY GOG.

3. EMBASSY IS REQUESTED TO CONTACT ATTORNEY GILLETTE IMMEDIATELY AND ASK HIM TO DETERMINE: 1) WHETHER U.S. CAN JOIN AS A PARTY IN GOG INITIATED LITIGATION, 2) IF SO, WHAT PROCEDURES NEED TO BE FOLLOWED IN ORDER FOR THE U.S.

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TO BECOME A PARTY AND TO ASSERT ITS CLAIM, AND 3) WHAT ARE THE APPLICABLE TIME DEADLINES. EMBASSY SHOULD EMPHASIZE TO GILLETTE THAT PROMPT RESPONSE IS NECESSARY TO AVOID ANY RISK THAT U.S. WILL LOSE RIGHTS BY DEFAULT.

4. IF LITIGATION IS COMMENCED ON BEHALF OF U.S., IT WILL BE NECESSARY FOR DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO RETAIN COUNSEL TO REPRESENT U.S. ALTHOUGH JUSTICE MAY DECIDE TO RETAIN GILLETTE, (WHO IS RETAINED PRESENTLY BY DEPARTMENT OF STATE) JUSTICE WOULD OF COURSE BE GRATEFUL FOR ANY OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS THE EMBASSY MAY HAVE REGARDING LOCAL COUNSEL BEST QUALIFIED TO REPRESENT U.S. IN LITIGATION. IF EMBASSY RECOMMENDS GILLETTE, EMBASSY IS REQUESTED TO INQUIRE AS TO HIS WILLINGNESS TO UNDERTAKE REPRESENTATION IN CONNECTION WITH LITIGATION. HE SHOULD BE INFORMED THAT JUSTICE CANNOT ENGAGE HIM ON A CONTINGENT FEE BASIS AND THAT JUSTICE WILL NEGOTIATE WITH HIM A FIXED FEE AGREEMENT. IF GILLETTE IS RETAINED, HE SHOULD BE REQUESTED TO PROVIDE A PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT OF THE LIKELIHOOD OF THE U.S. SUCCESSFULLY PURSUING ITS CLAIM IN LITIGATION. HE SHOULD ALSO BE REQUESTED TO PROVIDE FOR FORWARDING TO DEPARTMENT COPIES OF ANY DOCUMENTS FILED WITH COURT BY GOG.

5. DEPARTMENT IS AWAITING EMBASSY COMMENTS ON LITIGATION PROMISED IN REFTEL. DEPARTMENT BELIEVES AT THIS POINT THAT IT MAY BE DESIRABLE FOR U.S. TO SEEK COOPERATION OF GOG. AS SOLICITOR GENERAL SABOLA NOTED IN MEETING WITH FORTUNE, LEGAL POSITION OF TWO GOVERNMENTS IS VERY SIMILAR. EMBASSY’S COMMENTS ARE REQUESTED ON THE POSSIBILITY OF COOPERATION.

VANCE

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Originally posted on October 22nd, 2020.

Last modified on November 15th, 2020.
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