Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
February 9, 2012
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
February 24, 1979
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP91-00561R000100070074-3.pdf102.8 KB
Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/02/09: CIA-RDP91-00561 R000100070074-3 -STATE ARTICLE APPEARED ON PAGE 1`73:2o7 THE BERRELLEZ CASE TH-iii _uLACK ART OF THE NATION 24 February 1979 CARL KAPLAN and RANDALL ROTHENBERG On February :8, the. Government an- nounced that. it was dropping perjury charges against Robert Berrellez-and thereby hangs a tale: or, more precisely, a piece of mail. A while ago, a bulky, brown envelope ar- rived at the offices of The Nation. The enve- lope had no return address and there was no explanation of who had sent it. or why. It contained sealed transcripts of a closed- court hearing that took place in Washing- ton last October. The hearing was part of the perjury prosecution of Robert Berre- llez, a high I.T.T. official who was stationed in Chile at the time of the election of Salva- dore Allende. = It is alleged in the transcripts that Ber- rellez, who was LT.T.'s director of inter -American relations in Santiago, lied. at the behest and with the aid of the C.I.A., before Senator Frank Church's 1973 Senate sub-. committee investigating the links between the C.I.A. and I.T.T.-in Chile. Subsequent investigations have "estab lished the authenticity of the transcripts, but the identity of their sender remains a mystery. The Berrellez case raises a num- ber of important questions about the use and abuse of the "national security" defense in criminal cases involving the intelligence.- community. The case also lays bare a pro- found issue of justice: how can the Govern- ment proceed against a defendant whose defense threatens to expose in open court information the Government rightly or wrongly believes conceivable that tion as part of proposed new la ment prosecutioi whether we are lishing the docu set: we feel than rte t~JUeS 1-113CU uy wC Itl61C11G1 transcend the more remote and speculative harm that might result from their publication.} The facts of the Berrellez perjury case are .these: While Berrellez was working for I.T.T. in Chile, the C.I.A. allegedly assisted and encouraged the corpora-; tion in channeling hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaign fund of Salvadore Allende's oppo- nent in the 1970 Presidential election. In testimony before Senator Frank Church's Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations in 1973, Berrellez denied having any knowledge of the C.I.A. and I.T.T. operation. n March 1978, the Justice Department charged Berrellez with -perjury. The Government fur- ther, thaL:Berrellez-lied ..when.. he of certain top-secret information -he cabled back to I.T.T. headquarters in New York. Finally, the Justice- Department charged that Berrellez's perjury was committed with the complicity of various C.I.A. and I.T.T. officials-named and unnamed-none of whom. have been indicted. Among those cited in the original Government in- dictment were former I.T.T. Latin American public relations director Harold 'Hendrix; Jonathan G. Hanke, a C.I.A. office director in Chile, and Hernan Cubillos, who is currently-the Foreign Minister of Chile. Cubillos's name was stricken from the revised indictment issued last October, and. charges against Hendrix were dropped after he agreed to testify for I the prosecution. The Justice-Department has said that all of the co-conspirators acted "for their own purposes," but in the transcripts received by Tire Na- tion, defense attorney-Patrick NVdll claims to have evi- dence proving that the perjury was suborned by C.I.A. officers acting on higher orders. When the Berrellez case went. to trial before Fed-; eral District Judge Aubrey E. Robinson Jr. in Wash- ington on October 23, 1978, the Justice Department asked for a closed hearing because of the sensitive evi- dence Wall.claimed he would present in his defense! arguments. They also requested, "on national security grounds," a protective order designed to circum scribe the areas the defense attorney could touch upon' in the trial. According to The Nation documents. Fed- eral attorney John Kotelly_ told-.'the?Judge that the Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/02/09: CIA-RDP91-00561 R000100070074-3