Dec 21, 78 • 1258 • Georgetown-State • 4406

[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 1398 of the FBI’s RYMUR release. The text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE04406_d.html.

[The State Department release withheld all names associated with Peoples Temple from this cable. They are denoted below in red type.]

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 01
GEORGE 04406 211436Z
ACTION ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 USSS-00 SY-05 SYE-00 L-03 SCS-06
CA-01 FBIE-00 H-01 HA-05 SS-15 SSO-00 NSC-05
/057 W
——————094237 211440Z /40

P 211258Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8526
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE GEORGETOWN 4406
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO) GY
SUBJ: SECRET SERVICE REQUEST TO ENTER GUYANA FOR THE PURPOSE OF INTERVIEWING JONESTOWN SURVIVORS
REF: GEORGETOWN 4282.

1. IN MEETING DECEMBER 20, AMBASSADOR [JOHN BURKE] AGAIN RAISED WITH FORMIN [FOREIGN MINISTER] RASHLEIGH JACKSON THE OUTSTANDING REQUEST OF THE U.S. SECRET SERVICE TO SEND AGENTS TO GUYANA FOR THE PURPOSE OF INTERVIEWING JONESTOWN SURVIVORS LARRY LAYTON, CHARLES BEIKMAN, TIMOTHY AND MICHAEL CARTER, AND MICHAEL PROKES. JACKSON SAID THAT MINISTER OF JUSTICE/ATTORNEY GENERAL MOHAMED SHAHABUDDEEN HAD INFORMED HIM THAT AFTER CAREFUL CONSIDERATION, GOG [GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA] COULD NOT AGREE TO INTERVIEWS WITH BEIKMAN AND LAYTON WHILE THEY ARE UNDER DETENTION AND IN A TRIAL PROCESS. SUCH INTERVIEWS COULD PREJUDICE THE PROSECUTION’S CASE AGAINST THESE TWO DEFENDANTS IN THE OPINION OF THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

2. AS TO THE TWO CARTERS AND PROKES, THE FOREIGN MINISTER HAS BEEN INFORMED BY THE POLICE THAT THESE INDIVIDUALS WILL BE FREE TO LEAVE GUYANA AS SOON AS THE CORONER’S INQUEST INTO THE JONESTOWN DEATHS NOW BEING CONDUCTED

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 02 GEORGE 04406 211436Z

AT MATTHEW’S RIDGE IS COMPLETED. THAT INQUEST WHICH HAS BEEN IN PROGRESS FOR THE LAST TEN DAYS IS NOW EXPECTED TO END ON DECEMBER 21 OR 22. ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE CARTERS AND PROKES WILL DEPART GUYANA AS SOON AS THEY ARE GIVEN PERMISSION BY THE GOG TO LEAVE, JACKSON SAID THAT HIS GOVERNMENT’S PREFERENCE REMAINS THAT THEY BE INTERROGATED ON ARRIVAL IN THE U.S.

3. COMMENT: EMBASSY WILL REMAIN IN TOUCH WITH THE GOG POLICE RE THE RELEASE OF THE CARTERS AND PROKES AS MATERIAL WITNESSES. SHOULD IT DEVELOP THAT THEY AR [ARE] FREE TO LEAVE BUT DECIDE TO REMAIN FOR REASONS OF THEIR OWN, REQUEST FOR THE ADMISSION OF USSS [U.S. SECRET SERVICE] AGENTS WILL BE PROMPTLY RENEWED.

BURKE [John Burke, U.S. Ambassador to Guyana]

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE

Originally posted on March 25th, 2020.

Last modified on July 5th, 2022.
Skip to main content