Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
February 24, 2012
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
May 23, 1986
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000504630003-4.pdf74.4 KB
Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/02/27: CIA-RDP90-00965R000504630003-4 WASHINGTON TIMES 23 "lay 1986 dial of journalists offers intrigue and a cast of hundreds By Sue SP THEW .SHIN T0N TIMES SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - A libel trial opened here yesterday featur- ing soldiers of fortune, CIA "dirty tricksters," Latin revolutionaries, se- cret tape recordings, kidnappings, drug trafficking and an attempt to assassinate Nicaraguan rebel leader Eden Past. V -The ~case _ pits Jyformer US. citizen who is now a naturalized Costa Rican, against two American journalists, AJA9U1a, ney and Tbny Avirgan, a husband and wife team. Mr. Hull, a rancher who owns or "manages" land near the Nicara- guan border, is suing the couple for nearly $20 million, charging that they libeled him by linking him with a bombing nearly two years ago at La Penca, Mr. Pastora's Nicaraguan jungle camp near the Costa Rican border. Three journalists were killed and several people were injured in that bombing, including Mr. Pastora and Mr. Avirgan. The journalist couple has lived here for the past three years, accord- ing to an interview with Miss Honey, and they report on Central America for American, Canadian and British television networks and newspa- pers, including the Times of London. Mr. Hull's attorney, Alberto Rodri- guez, said that Mr. Hull denies all charges made by the journalists and that their report contains numerous anonymous sources, pseudonyms and statements of third parties unsupported by any acceptable evi- dence. According to the Tico Times, Mr. Hull has long expressed sympathy for the Nicaraguan rebels and his activities in northern Costa Rica have been the subject of numerous local investigations in recent years. However, the Tico Times added, Mr. Hull has strongly denied any con- nection to the La Penca bombing. In an 84-page report by the jour- nalist couple which was obtained by The Washington Times, Mr. Hull is mentioned more than a dozen times in connection with alleged CIA ac- tivities, drug trafficking and a bombing plot against Mr. Pastora. The report, called "La Penca: Pas- tora, the Press and the CIA;' was funded in part by the U.S. Commit- tee to Protect Journalists and the American Newspaper Guild, ac- cording to the Tico Times. The un- derwriters are not named on the re- port, but Miss Honey said it was also funded by the World Press Freedom Association. The perpetrator of the unsolved La Penca bombing posed as a Scan- dinavian photojournalist, but Mr. Avirgan and Miss Honey contend he was a Libyan "whose comrades knew him as Amac Gal' " ," They state in their report that Mr. Galil was recruited in Chile for the La Penca operation in early 1984 by the CIA, members of two Contra groups - including the largest one, the Nicaraguan Democratic Force - and anti-Castro Cuban- Americans in Miami. They further allege that Costa Rican officials participated in a cover-up of the bombing plot, which they say was styled to look like a Sandinista attack on Mr. Pastora. Contra leaders began to suspect Mr. Pastora was a communist and plotted against him, Miss Honey said in an interview. The CIA assisted in the plot, upset that Mr. Pastora steadfastly refused to unite with the other Contra groups operating in the north of Nicaragua, she added. Early press reports on La Penca pointed a finger at ETA, a Basque separatist organization that report- edly had close ties to the Sandinistas. But Miss Honey and Mr. Avirgan contend that intelligence sources in Washington planted those stories in the major U.S. media. Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/02/27: CIA-RDP90-00965R000504630003-4