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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
July 22, 2010
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Publication Date: 
May 28, 1981
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00552R000403680030-9.pdf81.62 KB
Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/07/22 : CIA-RDP90-00552R000403680030-9 ARTICLE APPEARED ON PAGE THE WASHINGTON POST 28 May 1981 ution prosec h. I Letelier i nal . -Proseons By Laura A. Kiernair:t,;.._ The retrial of two anti-Castro Cubans accused of i iurder in: the X976 assassination ' of Orlando Lete- Bier=' drew to a close in U.S. District:COuit yesterday ;`'prosecution and defense lawyers, focused' their .final arguments .on Michael Vernon;=Townley, the . key, government witness who testified ;that he orgy-. the plot to kill Letelier :Assistant U.S.' Attorney E Lawrence Barcella Jr. . told the jury that telephone and travel records, anaddress book, letters, receipts, other "documents and components to explode a bomb, all of which were obtained by federal investigators- irn 'the case, sup-. port Townley's testimony that he. recruited the Cu- Sams to help him carryout the. murder .on orders fi'oin the Chilean secret; police, ."bnce. known as ..'Defense lawyers Paul Goldbe ger 'and Lawrence A.-? Dubin ' described Townley, an,American-born,. t)INA agent, as a ? polished liar who,: still acting on orders from DINA, cooperated with US.' prosecutors. tinly after he was instructed by Chilean officials to. triplicate the 'Cubans.' The . defense` contends the' assassination -was carried out by Townley, DINA and Chile alone. Letelier, a former Chilean ambassador was a vig-. pious, outspoken, opponent of the military regime of" augusto Pinochet,"which -took over the Chilean gov vrnment during `.a bloody coup in' 1973. Townley testified that Chilean military officers told him Le- telier had to be killed and ordered him to have the - Cubans carry- out the plot to insulate the-Pinochet government from any culpability., `'Townley, who was expelled from ' Chile in .1978 end turned over to U.S. prosecutors, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder a foreign official and is-serving' a sentence of 3 t/z to 10 years. - Leteli er and an associate, Ronni Karpen Moffitt, were killed -on Sept. 21, 1976, when a bomb explod- gdumder Letelier's car as it rounded Sheridan Circle on-Embassy Row. The two defendants, -.Guillermo Novo Sampol and Alvin Ross Diaz, were charged . with murdee'.and conspiracy along with-two other- Cubans, both-of whom are fugitives. Novo'and Ross were convicted 'of murder and conspiracy charges in 1979, . but they. were granted a new trial on appeal Three Chileanmilitary men, including Juan Manuel ContrerasrSepulvada, once the head of DINA, also were indicted in the murders, but the Chilean courts "refused td extradite them --The prosecution contends that Chilean officials, under intense pressure from the United States. in connection with-the- Letelier case, told Townley to tell the truth-about the killings. .- But defense attorney Dubin told the jury of eight women and -four men that the prosecution "needed some bodies" to try. Townley, whose wife and chil- dren still live in Chile, went along with the. ground rules set up by the Chilean government so that he could assure his return to his family and way of life -there, Dubin said. The jury is expected to begin deliberations today. Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/07/22 : CIA-RDP90-00552R000403680030-9