Dec 7, 78 • 1704 • Georgetown-State • 4153

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE04153_d.html.]

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GEORGE 04153 071831Z
ACTION ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 L-03 SCS-06 CA-01 H-01 SSO-00 /027 W
——————052723 071835Z /43

O 071704Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8372
C O N F I D E N T I A L GEORGETOWN 4153

E.O. 12065: RDS 12/7/84 (FORTUNE, T.) OR-M
TAGS: CASC, GY (PEOPLE’S TEMPLE)
SUBJ: DISPOSITION OF PEOPLE’S TEMPLE PROPERTY IN GUYANA

1. AMBASSADOR AND L REPRESENTATIVE CALLED ON GOG MINISTER OF JUSTICE MOHAMED SHAHBUDDEEN THIS MORNING. AFTER INTRODUCING L REPRESENTATIVE, AMBASSADOR EXPLAINED IN GENERAL TERMS THE NATURE OF HIS MISSION’S RESPONSIBILITY WITH RESPECT TO THE PROPERTY OF DECEASED US CITIZENS IN GUYANAN. MINISTER SHAHABUDDEEN ASSURED AMBASSADOR THAT HIS GOVERNMENT WOULD RESPECT FULLY THE EMBASSY’S RESPONSIBILITIES IN THIS REGARD. HE NOTED THAT THE SITUATION PRESENTED SEVERAL DIFFICULT QUESTIONS INCLUDING THE LEGAL NATIONALITY OF PEOPLE’S TEMPLE IN GUYANA, THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE ORGANIZATION IN GUYANA AND THE “PARENT” GROUP IN THE US, THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE VARIOUS ITEMS OF PT PROPERTY IN GUYANA AND THE DETERMINATION OF WHO OWNS THIS PROPERTY. THE MINISTER PROPOSED THAT THE TWO GOVERNMENTS COOPERATE IN ADDRESSING AND RESOLVING THESE ISSUES. THE AMBASSADOR CONCURRED IN THIS PROPOSAL, AND EXPRESSED HIS APPRECIATION FOR THE EXCELLENT COOPERATION RECEIVED THUS FAR FROM THE GOG. THE MINISTER STATED THAT HE WOULD BE CONSULTING WTH THE SOLICITOR GENERAL IN ORDER TO FAMILIARIZE HIMSELF WITH THE LEGAL ISSUES INVOLVED, SO HE MIGHT BE PREPARED TO DISCUSS THEM IN FURTHER SESSIONS WITH MR. FORTUNE.

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2. THE DISCUSSION WAS BRIEF AND THE ISSUES WERE WERE NOT EXPLORED IN ANY DETAIL. COOPERATIVE ATTITUDE EXPRESSED BY MINISTER SHAHABUDDEEN, HOWEVER, IS PROMISING AND PRESAGES WHAT WE HOPE WILL BE A FRUITFUL DIALOGUE WITH THE LEGAL SIDE OF THE GUYANESE HOUSE ON THE QUESTIONS OF CUSTODY AND DISPOSITION OF PEOPLE’S TEMPLE ASSETS IN GUYANA.

BURKE

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Originally posted on March 23rd, 2020.

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