Serial 2446

[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 2446 of the FBI’s RYMUR release.]

P 221435Z MAY 80
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2545
INFO AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 2375
BOGOTA FOR LEGATT
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CARR, GY (PEOPLE’S TEMPLE), (BEIKMAN, CHARLES E.)
SUBJ: BEIKMAN’S SENTENCE REDUCED
REF: GEORGETOWN 1567

1. The consul has just learned that, in a quiet legal move that has not as yet received any attention in the press, High Court Justice [Cecil] Kennard has effectively reduced the sentence he had himself imposed on Charles Beikman.

2. At the time of sentencing the defense attorney had moved (unsuccessfully) that whatever sentence he descended upon should be made effective from April 1979. The argument for this motion was based upon the contention that Beikman’s trial would have gone to judgment during the April 1979 session had it been for circumstances beyond Beikman’s control (Steve [Stephan] Jones’ spurious confession in December 1978) – See 78 Georgetown 4349).

3. Beikman’s attorneys had thirty days from sentencing to appeal sentence directly to Justice Kennard. They then could have gone to the Court

UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 02 GEORGE 02375 021742Z

of Appeals. According to defense attorney Rex McKay, Justice Kennard agreed to permit sentencing to run from April 1, 1979 vice 1968, effectively reducing Beikman’s sentence 12 months. With time off for good behavior Beikman can expect to be released in the spring of 1982.

Roberts [George B. Roberts, Jr., American ambassador to Guyana]

Originally posted on November 12th, 2020.

Last modified on July 20th, 2022.
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