Serial 2468

[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 2468 of the FBI’s RYMUR release. The text of this cable was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1979GEORGE05678_e.html.

[The FBI withheld the name of Temple survivor Odell Rhodes from this cable. The deleted information was later released by the State Department, and is indicated below in red type.]

Routing and transmittal slip

Date: 1/16/80

Attached is a copy of the incoming teletype concerning Jonestown, Guyana, which I promised you the other day.

I am sorry for the delay, but it just arrived.

ALH [Al Hantman]

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PAGE 01 GEORGE 05678 271921Z
ACTION OCS-06
INFO OCT-01 ARA-11 ADS-00 CA-01 L-03 JUSE-00 /022 W
——————101490 272124Z /65

R 271628Z DEC 79
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1330
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE GEORGETOWN 5678
PASS DEPT. JUSTICE FOR US ASSISTANT US ATTORNEY D.M. NERNEY SOUTHERN DISTRICT CALIFORNIA
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CGEN: JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE: U.S. V. LAYTON
SUBJ: STATUS OF LAWRENCE [Laurence] LAYTON TRIAL AND TRAVEL OF U.S. ATTORNEY
REF: STATE 327918

1. (U) Emboff [Embassy officer] discussed the Layton trial schedule Dec. 22 with Guyanese Director of Public Prosecutions Romao. Romao stated that although the trial was expected to be held in the forthcoming session of assizes which would begin January 8, no firm date had yet been set for the Layton trial itself and some preliminary legal work remained to be accomplished.

2. (LOU) In response to Emboff’s inquiry as to whether and when the DPP would require the return of American witnesses to Guyana. Romao replied that he hoped to make a deal with the defense to permit the testimony of American witnesses at the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) to be used, thus obviating the need for the return of the witnesses. The DPP believes that if the defense considers that the American wintesses who testified at the PI, (Gosney and [Rhodes]) , are willing able

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PAGE 02 GEORGE 05678 271921Z

to return for the Layton trial, the defense will accept their previous testimony at the PI. Should the defense consider Gosney and [Rhodes] unlikely to return for the trial, however, the defense probably would not accept the PI testimony at the trial. The DPP therefore stressed the importance of the willingness of Gosney and [Rhodes] to return, even though it might well not be necessary.

3. (LOU) While the DPP does not believe it necessary for the GOG’s case that US Assistant Attorney Nerney return for the Layton trial, the DPP has no objection to Nerney’s presence in Guyana should he wish to return for the trial.

4. (u) Embassy Georgetown has been told informally that the American attorney retained by the father of Lawrence Layton may travel to Guyana to observe the Layton trial. We suggest that SCS inform Dr. Layton that the trial date is not yet firm.

5. (u) Embassy will notify the Department as soon as it learns of a firm Layton trial date.

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

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NNN

Originally posted on November 12th, 2020.

Last modified on July 31st, 2022.
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