Dec 15, 78 • 1900 • Georgetown-State • 4315

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE04315_d.html.]

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GEORGE 04315 161203Z
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INFO OCT-01 SS-14 ISO-00 ARA-10 CA-01 SCS-01 H-03 SSO-00 NSCE-00 /031 W
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O 151900Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8479
C O N F I D E N T I A L GEORGETOWN 4315
LIMDIS

E.O. 12065: GDS 12/15/84 (BURKE, JOHN R.) OR-M
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO), GY
SUBJ: REQUEST BY FBI TO REMOVE FROM GUYANA TEMPORARILY CERTAIN MATERIALS TAKEN BY CONSULAR OFFICERS FROM JONESTOWN
REF: (A) GEORGETOWN 4047. (B) STATE 304925

1. UNDER THE AUTHORITY GIVEN BY REFERENCE B THE FBI TECHNICAL TEAM HAS BEEN REVIEWING THE MATERIAL COLLECTED FROM JONESTOWN BY CONSULAR OFFICERS IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES IN RESPECT TO THE ESTATES OF DECEASED AMERICANS. THE TECHNICAL TEAM HAS NOW COMPLETED ITS PRELIMINARY REVIEW AND REQUESTS PERMISSION TO REMOVE PART OF THIS MATERIA TEMPORARILY FROM GUYANA FOR THE PURPOSES OF REPRODUCTION. THE MATERIAL CONSISTS OF DOCUMENTS, BUSINESS RECORDS AND TAPES, BOTH CASSETTE AND REEL-TO-REEL.

2. IN MAKING THE PROPOSAL TO THE GOG UNDER WHICH THE GOG AGREED TO PERMIT THE ENTRY OF AN FBI TECHNICAL TEAM, IT WAS MADE CLEAR THAT THE TEAM WOULD HAVE ACCESS TO EVIDENTIARY MATERIAL IN THE HANDS OF THE GUYANESE AUTHORITIES AS WELL AS THAT WHICH HAD BEEN COLLECTED BY THE

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CONSULATE. THE GUYANESE POLICE HAVE BEEN MOST FORTHCOMING AND COOPERATIVE WITH THE TECHNICAL TEAM. TO DATE, HOWEVER, THE GUYANESE AUTHORITIES HAVE NOT YET TAKEN UP THE OFFER TO REVIEW THE EVIDENTIARY MATERIAL BEING HELD BY THE CONSULATE. THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THIS HAS BEEN THE DELIVERY TO THE GUYANA POLICE OF A COPY OF THE REEL-TO-REEL TAPE WHICH APPEARS TO RECORD THE LAST HOUR OF JONESTOWN. IN THE COURSE OF REVIEWING MATERIALS HELD BY THE GUYANESE POLICE, THE FBI TECHNICAL TEAM HAS, AS WITH THE MATERIAL IN THE CONSULATE, IDENTIFIED CERTAIN MATERIALS, MOSTLY RECORDING TAPES WHICH THE TEAM WOULD LIKE TO BRING BACK TEMPORARILY TO THE U.S. FOR REPORDUCTION WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT IT WOULD BE RETURNED TO GUYANA FOLLOWING SUCH PROCESSING. SO FAR THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA HAS NOT GIVEN ITS PERMISSION TO THIS PROPOSAL.

3. NOW THAT THE FBI TECHNICAL TEAM HAS CONCLUDED ITS WORK IN GEORGETOWN, THE EMBASSY REQUESTS ADVICE FROM THE DEPARTMENT ON TWO POINTS:

(A) WILL THE DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZE THE EMBASSY TO RELEASE TO THE FBI ON TEMPORARY LOAN THE MATERIALS WHICH THE TEAM HAS IDENTIFIED FOR REPRODUCTION AND PROCESSING, BEARING IN MIND THAT THESE MATERIALS WERE COLLECTED AND ARE BEING RETAINED IN THE CONSULATE AS PART OF THE ESTATES OF AS YET UNIDENTIFIED DECEASED AMERICANS. (THIS WOULD OF COURSE ENTAIL THE TEMPORARY REMOVAL OF THIS MATERIAL FROM THE CONSULAR DISTRICT OF GEORGETOWN.)

(B) ASSUMING THAT THE DEPARTMENT DOES PROVIDE THE AHTHORIZATION REQUESTED IN SUB-PARA A ABOVE, THE EMBASSY AND THE USG STILL HAVE A COMMITMENT TO THE

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GOG TO MAKE AVAILABLE ON A FREE EXCHANGE BASIS THE MATERIALS COLLECTED BY THE CONSULATE FOR REVIEW BY THE GOG LAW ENFORECEMTN AUTHORITIES. ASSUMING THAT THE GOG IS STILL RELUCTANT TO ALLOW THE FBI TEMPORARILY TO REMOVE THE EVIDENTIARY MATERIAL IN THE GOG’S POSSESSION FOR REPRODUCTION IN THE U.S., IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE EMBASSY AND THE USG ARE ALSO BOUND TO RESPECT THE TERMS OF THE ORIGINAL AGREEMENT UNDER WHICH THE FBI TECHNICAL TEAM WAS PERMITTED IN COUNTRY, (I.E., THAT MATERIAL HELD BY THE CONSULATE BE AVAILABLE TO GOG IN GUYANA FOR ITS INVESTIGATION). THE EMBSSY COULD OF COURSE USE THE DIPLOMATIC POUCH TO TRANSMIT THOSE MATERIALS IN THE CONSULATE’S POSSESSION WITHOUT GOG PERMISSION. IT SEEMS TO US, HOWEVER, THAT IN THE INTERESTS OF LONG TERM COOPERATION WITH THE GOG ON THE ENTIRE MATTER OF THE ASSASSINATION OF CONGRESSMAN RYAN AND THE MASS MURDERS, SUICIDES AT JONESTOWN, IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT WE AVOID ANY ACTION WHICH MIGHT CALL OUR GOOD FAITH INTO QUESTION.

4. PLEASE ADVISE.

BURKE

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Originally posted on March 25th, 2020.

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