Dec 1, 78 • 1500 • Georgetown-State • 4047

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE04047_d.html.]

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PAGE 01
GEORGE 04047 011604Z
ACTION SCS-06
INFO OCT-01 ARA-11 ISO-00 CA-01 L-03 H-01 SS-15 SSO-00 /038 W
——————049024 011608Z /42

O 011500Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8293
C O N F I D E N T I A L GEORGETOWN 4047

E.O. 12065: GDS 12/1/84 (TFORTUNE) OR-M
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO) GY
SUBJECT: ACCESS BY FBI PERSONNEL TO MATERIAL TAKEN BY CONSULAR OFFICERS FROM JONESTOWN

1. AS DEPARTMENT IS AWARE, CONSULAR PERSONNEL, ACTING UNDER 22 USC SEC. 1175 ET SEQ., REMOVED PROPERTY CONSISTING LARGELY OF DOCUMENTS FOUND IN JONES RESIDENCE FROM JONESTOWN. THIS MATERIAL HAS POTENTIAL EVIDENTIARY VALUE BOTH IN CONNECTION WITH INVESTIGATION BEING UNDERTAKEN BY US AGENTS HERE IN GUYANA AND IN CONNECTION WITH ONGOING GOG INVESTIGATION.

2. SECTION 1175 ET SEQ. CONTEMPLATE TRANSFER OF PROPERTY TAKEN INTO CUSTODY BY CONSULAR OFFICER TO LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE OF DECEDENTS. STATUTE DOES NOT EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZE USE OF SUCH PROPERTY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT PURPOSES. QUESTION THEREFORE ARISES AS TO WHETHER GRANTING OF ACCESS TO US AND GOG INVESTIGATIVE PERSONNEL WILL EXPOSE CONSULAR OFFICER TO LEGAL LIABILITY.

3. ONE POSSIBLE RESOLUTION IS SUGGESTED BY ARTICLE 19 OF OUR CONSULAR TREATY WITH GUYANA (3 UST 3426) WHICH PRECLUDES DELIVERY OF PROPERTY TO LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE WHERE SUCH DELIVERY IS NOT PERMITTED UNDER LOCAL LAW. EVIDENTIARY VALUE OF MATERIAL MAY GIVE GOG RIGHT TO IMPOUND IT, THEREBY RELIEVING CONSULAR OFFICER OF OBLIGATION TO DELIVER TO

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LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE. IF THIS RATIONALE IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH LOCAL LAW AND IS ADOPTED, POSSESSION (AT LEAST CONSTRUCTIVE) OF EVIDENCE WOULD SHIFT FROM US TO GOG. ASSUMING THAT ARRANGEMENTS ON ACCESS CAN BE ESTABLISHED, PRACTICAL RESULT SHOULD BE THE SAME, I.E. BOTH GOVERNMENTS WILL HAVE USE OF EVIDENCE FOR INVESTIGATIVE PURPOSES.

4. DEPARTMENT IS REQUESTED, ON URGENT BASIS, TO INSTRUCT EMBASSY REGARDING EMBASSY’S AUTHORITY TO GRANT ACCESS TO MATERIAL DESCRIBED IN PARA 1 TO FBI AGENTS EITHER UNDER RATIONALE STATED IN PARA 3 OR ON SOME OTHER BASIS.

BURKE

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Originally posted on March 17th, 2020.

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