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December 16, 2016
Document Release Date: 
June 17, 2005
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February 9, 1979
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Approved For Release 2005/07/01: CIA-RPA~- i0 ?i.R~IGZ>i, _ ??l WPS INGTON ST-IT FEB oil PAC-r-, , 9 IRu lu 1979 Defense Seeks to Establish Link In Is U.S.,. Envoy's Testhony Puts CIA Twist in Letelier -Case By Jeremiah O'Leary Washington Star Stuit W rtter A high U.S. diplomat has told the Orlando.Letelier murder trial that the CIA's deputy director was in Paraguay shortly before special U.S. visas were sought for two Chilean. secret police- men- .. . U.S. Ambassador to Chile George Landau. testified yesterday that the former?deputydirector of the CIA, Vernon Walters. had been in Para- guay shortly before the U.S. Consulate' in Asuncion was asked by a high. Para. guayaa official to issue the special visas to two Chilean officers who had been given Paraguayan passports. Defense lawyers for three anti-Cas- tro Cuban exiles being tried in the- case are- attempting to establish that the CIA was responsible for the car- bomb murder of Letelier, a former Chilean diplomat. Landau, who was ambassador to 'Paraguay in 1976, said Walters had met with Conrado Papelardo, chief of protocol to-Paraguayan President Alfredo Stroessner, during his visit. Landau said that in July 1976, after Walters, had left, he had_a "bizarre '. ? h P I. do The ar ported that Landau told FBI investiga- tors he was informed that Gen. Augusto Pinochet, head of the Chi- lean .. government, personally requested Paraguay to provide false passports. . (According to both government and legal sources familiar with the case, Landau told the FBI a top official in the Paraguyan government had told him that Pinochet called Stroess-. ner requesting the false passports for the two Chilean agents... .. (Several persons who have seen the I summary of the FBI interview with Landau said that in.it he quoted Papa- lardo as saying the request had come-{ directly from Pinochet.. (SOURCES SAID it was at Landau's request that lawyers for both the de- fense and the prosecution yesterday refrained from pressing him to repeat in public his earlier statement to the FBI, The Times concluded.) Landau said he tried to call Walters without success and theta permitted the U.S. visas to be issued. But he said he took the precaution of sending the passport photos used by the two Chi-..I lean agents to Washington and then sent Walters a full written report on conversation wit ape the incident official, he said, told Landau that the On July 27 or 1-8, 1976, Landau said, Chilean government wanted to send he received _a message from CIA that two army officers to the United States Walters was no longer.with CIA. and and they- would. carry Paraguayan that Director George Bush had re- documents to be-less conspicuous. . ceived the report from the U.S. EARLIER TESTIMONY has claimed Embassy. Landau said, he heard from agents iTalters on Aug. 4 that be knew nosh-, these- Chileans were, DINA Michael V. ?Townley;'the chief prose- lug of the natter. and did not want to pet involved in it. At that, Landau said to a 1 ? ser esargee in ns the case, d eaand and ? he revoked the visas and demanded. Caapt. Armando arg Fernandez: '' : .. that the passports be returned to him. C "Papelardo told me the Paraguayan ` WHEN THE-PASSPORTS were re- government had decided. to give them ceived, Landau noted that the photos the passports'and that he had told of the Chilean agents had- been re- them to contact Walters in the U.S. He moved from the passports. But Lan- said that would give Walters full con- dau added that he had previously had trol over their visit," Landau testified. the passport photos copied and they fit (The New Yorrtr Times today re- were-in the State Department's files. . Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R00070DO60100-7 Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901R000700 ARTICLE A ,ZAE Z) ON PAGs . NEN YORK Tr., M, 9 FEBRUARY 19T9 PO ocnet Is Said to Have -Sought Passports for a .e Tay DAVID BURNHAM- Special to Ti> Ne,v Yuck rimes WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 - A senior United States diplomat has told investi- gators he was informed that President Augusto Pinochet of Chile had personally requested Paraguay to provide false passports for two men later charged with the murder of Orlando Letelier, a high of- ficial in the Government of the late Chi- lean President, Salvador Allende Gos- seas: - According to Government and legal sources familiar with-the investigation into the assassination, the senior Arheri- can diplomat, George W. Landau, in- formed the Federal Bureau of Investiga- tion that a top aide in the Paraguayan Government had told him that President Pinochet called Alfredo Stroessner, the Paraguayan President, requesting false. passports for the two Chilean agents. Mr. Landau, who is now Ambassador to Chile', was Ambassador to Paraguay at the time of the reported passport incident. Mr. Landau testified today during the trial of three Cuban exiles charged in con- nection with the Letelier murder. He said only that he had been informed that the request for speedy action on the pass- ports had come from a "high level" of the Chilean Government. cret police officials and members of -a.- small anti-Castro organization, based in. New Jersey and Florida, the Cuban Na- tionalist Movement. The prosecution's major witness in the case against the three Cubans now on trial is Michael Vernon Townley, a self- taught American electronics agent, who said he killed Mr. Letelier on the direct orders of the Chilean secret police. In re- turn for testifying, Mr. Townley was al- lowed to plead guilty to the reduced charge of conspiring to kill a foreign offi- graphic copy of the documents to Cen- cial and could be released from prison in I tral Intelligence Agency headquarters. about three years. Unsuccessful Trip to Paraguay According to both the indictment and the testimony of Mir. Townley, he and Capt. Armando Fernandez Larios, an of- ficial in the Chilean secret police, flew to Paraguay on July 20,1976, in what proved to be an abortive attempt to obtain Para- guayan passports under the aliases Ale- jandro Romeral and Juan Rose Williams. In today's testimony, Mr. Landau said that Mr. Papalardo had informed him .Mr. Landau said that in it, he had quoted' Conrado Papalardo, a key adviser to President Stroessner, as saying the re- quest had come directly from General Pinochet. An Agreement Between Lawyers Sources here said that at Mr. Landau's request lawyers for both the defense and the prosecution refrained today from pressing him to repeat in public his earlier statement to the F.B.I. Mr.' Letelier, who served in major Cabinet ministries and as Ambassador to Washington under Dr. Allende's Marzlst. - Government. was killed in Washington in September 19,76 when a bomb e..rploded in the car he was driving. Ronni Moffitt, an assistant, also died. - . Charged in the killing was Gen. Manuel Contreras Sepulveda, the head of the Chi-' lean secret police, two other Chilean se - . ' . Gen. Augusto Pinochet that the two men were career army offi-1 cers whom the Chilean Government wanted to send to the United States to in- vestigate whether several corporations established by the Allende regime might be used for "anti-Chilean purposes or ter- rorist purposes." Mr. Landau said that after Paraguay had issued the requested false passports to the two men, he had become suspicious of the entire transaction and sent photo. On Aug. 4, 1976, Mr. Landau testified, he received a message from Lieut. Geri. Vernon A. Walters, the now retired deputy director of the C.I.A , saying that the agency was unaware of the two men. "I called Mr. Paoalardo and told him to get the passports back.-- that the visas were revoked," Mr. Landau said. Further aliases Used.. When the visas were not forthcoming, I Mr. Townley had testified earlier, he and I Captain Fernandez returned to Chile. On Aug. 26, Captain Fernandez allegedly traveled to the United States under a false Chilean passport in the name of Ar- mando Faundez Lyon to begin surveil. lance of Mr. Letelier. On Sent. 9, Mr. Townley testified, he followed Captain Fernandez to the United States under the alias of Hans Peterson Silva. In his opening statement two weeks. ago, the prosecutor, Eugene M. Propper, said he would prove that both the Govern- ment of Chile and its secret police were directly involved in the murder of Mr. Letelier. Though Ambassador Landau was on the prosecution's proposed witness list, it was Paul Goldberger and Lawrence Dubin, the defense lawyers, who, called him to testify in the case, apparently in the hope that Mr. Landau's message from General Walters might link Mr. Townley with the C.I.A. The defense charges that the-C.1.A., not the Cuban exiles, were responsible for 'the death of Mr. Letelier. - Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060100-7