(Editor’s note: This is a cable from the files of the State Department that was included in the FBI’s 2009 RYMUR release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act. It was not included in the State Department’s own release, but we have included identifying information for it using the agency’s designations.)
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[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies on pdf]
P R 071935Z MAY 80
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2440
INFO AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE GEORGETOWN 2163
BOGOTA FOR LEGATT
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CARR, GY (LAYTON, LARRY)
SUBJ: TRIAL OF US CITIZEN LARRY LAYTON FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER
1. The third day of the trial of US citizen Lawrence [Laurence] Layton for the attempted murder of Vernon Gosney and Monica Bagby at Port Kaituma airstrip on November 18, 1978 was taken up by the cross-examination of chief prosecution witness Vernon Gosney by senior defense counsel Rex McKay. The offense charged that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had committed a serious “impropriety” by “coaching” Gosney on May 6 as to what he was to testify. Presiding Judge Collins rejected McKay’s arguments, saying that the prosecution had every right to consult with its principal witness.
2. McKay sought to discredit Gosney’s testimony by revealing that Gosney had been charged in the early 1970’s with welfare fraud in California. He further alleged that the FBI had Gosney under suspicion for “gun running” into Jonestown. Gosney admitted the welfare
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fraud charges but denied the “gun running” accusation. McKay further charged that the FBI and the State Department were using confessions signed by Gosney while a member of the People’s Temple to blackmail Gosney into testifying against Layton. Gosney denied this as well. Gosney stuck to his allegations that Layton had shot him twice.
3. The trial will continue on May 8.
Roberts [George B. Roberts, U.S. Ambassador to Guyana]