Nov 16, 1979 • 1306 • Georgetown-State • 5086

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1979GEORGE05086_e.html.]

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PAGE 01
GEORGE 05086 191055Z
ACTION OCS-06
INFO OCT-01 ARA-11 ADS-00 L-03 CA-01 JUS-01 TRSE-00 /023 W
——————086751 191215Z /15

R 161306Z NOV 79
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1021
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE GEORGETOWN 5086

E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CPRS, CDES, GY
SUBJ: PEOPLE’S TEMPLE PROPERTY AND TREASURY CHECKS
REF: STATE 279635

1. EMBASSY GEORGETOWN VERY MUCH APPRECIATES THE STATUS REPORT CONTAINED IN THE REFTEL. THE LEGAL QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE DISPOSITION OF THE CHECKS ARE FULLY APPRECIATED HERE. AS THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE JONESTWON TRAGEDY APPROACHES, HOWEVER, WE HOPE THAT THE ISSUE CAN BE RESOLVED SOON.

2. WITH REGARD TO THE 130 PLUS CRATES ADDRESSED TO THE PEOPLES TEMPLE IN GUYANA, THE EMBASSY CONCURS, BASED ON THE CRATES EXAMINED THUS FAR, THAT THE MATERIAL THERIN APPEARS TO BE CORPORATE RATHER THAN PERSONAL PROPERTY. FURTHER, AS WE UNDERSTAND THE DEPARTMENT’S LEGAL OPINION, AS THE MATERIAL HAS NOT CLEARED CUSTOMS YET IT HAS NOT OFFICIALLY ENTERED THE CONSULAR DISTRICT AND EVEN IF DETERMINED TO BE PERSONAL PROPERTY IS THUS NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EMBASSY GEORGETOWN CONSULAR OFFICERS. THE EMBASSY THEREFORE CONCURS IN THE DEPARTMENT’S SUGGESTION THAT THE COURT APPOINTED CALIFORNIA RECEIVER FOR THE PEOPLES TEMPLE BE INFORMED ABOUT THE MATERIAL AND ASKED TO FURNISH

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02 GEORGE 05086 191055Z

WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING ITS DISPOSITION.

3. COMMENT: THERE MAY WELL BE DIFFERING LEGAL OPINIONS IN GUYANA AS TO WHETHER THE PROPERTY BELONGS TO THE SUCCESSOR OF THE PT CALIFORNIA ORGANIZATION OR TO THE LOCAL PT ORGANIZATION WHOSE ASSETS REMAIN SUBJECT TO LITIGATION (GEORGETOWN 3214). FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE CALIFORNIA RECEIVER IT MIGHT SEEM SIMPLER TO ASSIGN ANY RIGHTS TO THE MATERIAL TO THE LOCAL ORGANIZATION. SUCH A DECISION, PROVIDED NONE OF THE PROPERTY IS DETERMINED TO BE PERSONAL, WE PRESUME WOULD NOT ALTER THE EMBASSY’S CONSULAR RESPONSIBILITIES AS NOTED IN PARA 2 ABOVE.

ROBERTS

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Originally posted on October 25th, 2020.

Last modified on November 16th, 2020.
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