Serial 2254
July 20, 1979 • 1325 • Georgetown-State • 3214

[Editor’s note: This is a State Department cable 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. The cable withheld several names, only one of which – that of the Carter brothers – is known.]

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[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies on pdf]

0 201325Z JUL 79
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 126
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DEPARTMENT PASS DEPT OF JUSTICE FOR OFFICE FOREIGN LITIGATION FOR HERGEN
FOR L/ARA FORTUNE
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CGEN, CDES, GY
SUBJ: PEOPLE’S TEMPLE LITIGATION
REF: GEORGETOWN 3180

1. Assistant Superintendent of Police [Cecil] Roberts confirmed July 18 but correspondence seized from [name deleted] [Carters] and [Michael] Prokes on November 18, 1978, at Port Kaituma remains in police possession. Charge in July 19 expressed to Foreign Minister in meeting on People’s Temple related litigation USG [United States Government] interest in obtaining originals of letters for use in Panamanian courts and also continued USG interest in obtaining copies of annexes to coroner’s report (Georgetown 1828) which have been repeatedly promised but not yet made available to Embassy. Foreign Minister [Rashleigh] Jackson stated that he would look into these matters and will be back in touch promptly.

2. On July 19, [name deleted] representing California People’s Temple Receiver [Robert] Fabian, gave charge summary status report of civil

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litigation. [name deleted] that although he had filed writ on behalf of Fabian as Receiver on March 6, writ was technically incorrect and he recommended that California People’s Temple Corporation appointed new board from Guyana Corporation which was accomplished on April 9. New Guyana People’s Temple members [names deleted]. Board has met and approved retention of [name deleted] as solicitor and [name deleted] as barrister. Court has been notified of the appointment of new board, and March 6 writ filed on behalf of Mr. Fabian as Receiver has been withdrawn. New board is to oversee eventual dissolution of local People’s Temple Corporation, but [name deleted] states that it will proceed cautiously to ensure proper distribution of assets before dissolution as any remaining assets at the solution will revert to state. [name deleted] states that he expects to file writ next week for new Temple board to seek to join suit originated by government. [name deleted] also states that he will move for dismissal of suit brought by [name deleted] on behalf of [name deleted] etc. [name deleted] expects move for dismissal of suit will be granted.

3. Once survivors’ suit is dismissed, [name deleted] expects that out-of-court agreement can easily be reached with government, noting that he has discussed this possibility with Prime Minister [Forbes] Burnham. Government has made no move to proceed with litigation, and, according to [name deleted], never anticipated that suit would actually go to court.

4. [name deleted] (protect) states that he believes a substantial deposit was made to People’s Temple Guyana Cooperative Bank account subsequent to November 18, 1978, but is unable or unwilling to say how much and from what source, although he did mention in passing that he understood Temple had accounts in Nassau.

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5. [name deleted] as promised to keep charge informed of progress of case.

Dwyer [Richard Dwyer, Deputy Chief of Mission, American Embassy, Georgetown]

Originally posted on April 30th, 2018.

Last modified on July 19th, 2022.
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