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December 20, 2016
Document Release Date: 
June 13, 2007
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March 20, 1978
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PDF icon CIA-RDP99-00498R000100130009-1.pdf162.29 KB
1/ ,,..-_._.~,, Approved For Release 2007/06/14 :CIA-RDP99-004988000100130009-1 STAT ARTICLE AP?:.ARED 0~ PAGE A-1 - 6 _ ~ _: - ` Ey Charles R:`Balicock`?"~' wa;h'.nzcou Poat 9cat4 7Vriter -'`-.'.. '~: - ~_-attorney General Griffin B. Bell is to announce today whether the Jus- tice Department will prosecute three officials of the International:. Tele-: phone & Telegraph Cote. on charges of lying to the Senate nearly five Sears ago about working with the Central Intelligence Agency in Chile:..'; - The decision 'on whether to fi e-~ criminal charges is complicated, how-- e~?er-as it was. last fall in the case.''. against former CL?~ director Richard I li. Helms-by intelligence community: claims that national security secrets. tni~ht be disclosed if a trial were held. CIA Director Stansfield Turner met with Bell last Thursday to express his concerns about the possible prosecu- tions. sources said. Helms was plead"tio` contest" last October to misdemeanor charges of failing to testify fully to the Senate about .CIA ;,peratioris in Chile. ~ - _ Bell said then that protecting top?se- I cret information from- possible disclo- sure at a perjury trial was a-factor in- tye decision to- accept alesser -plea from Helms. .:.-.. .=. '?.?.= ?_:' The five-year statute of limitations for prosecuting. Edward ~ S: Gerrity; ITT senior vice president, .and Robert Berrellez, an ITT Latin American offi-; ciai in the early 1970x, runs out today:. Tae time alter which prosecution. of iTT Chair. man .Harold S. Geneen v;ould be barred is less than .,two weeks away. ,... ? ' - ~ - "I know lionday's the last day on t:vo of them;' Bell said in a telephone interview Saturday evening. "I?_ll have something to say about all three one way or the other Monday .:_,. The question 'is indictment or no 'indict The term of the grand jvry~?hearing 'evidence in the case expired Iast month without indictments being re- turned.. But Bell -said, ;"That-doesn't. make any difference. tiVe can have a~r.eement to proceed by information,- a counterpartao an indictment:' _y?_, THE W~'1S1iINGTO` POST 20 Alarch 1978 ~. 1?rosecutors: can fife charges by. what is called an "information" with- out going to a grand jury. It-was learned that in this case the potential defendants have .waived their rights to have a grand jury con= sider and vote on whether to issue an indictment alleging a felony. Thus, it -is.possible that Bell is considering a~ perjury charge through an informa- I '.tion, rather .than a lesser accusation ~ of a misdemeanor, in at least one ofI the cases. '.: _ The testimony in question was de-~ .livered .almost five ~~ears ago to the Senate subcommittee on molting-I tional corporations, which was investi- gating. ITT's alleged .collaboration' with the CIA to prevent the 1970 glee- ~ tion of socialist Salvador Allende in' Chile. Geneen, Gerrity and Berrellez testified under oath at the hearings.! Possible perjury charges were re' r- i red from the Senate to the Justice i;e- pattment in late 197 after revelatioia that both the CI:1 and ITT had funded Allende's election opponents. Allende won the election but was killed in a September 1973 coup. The perjury investigations have i dragged- on because Justice Depart-J went prosecutors tried to prepare cases against Helms and the ITT offi-+ clals that would withstand defense motions for access to secret CIA docu- znents, Justice Department officials ~ said. ~ .~' _ ` . In November T97B, Harold V. Hen- f drla, former ITT public relations diz i rector ? in Latin America, pleaded I guilty to the misdemeanor charge of ~ withholding information from the Senate subcommittee during his tesii- sriony. Court papers filed at the time of his, plea show that he had told the CIA he ~ ivottId be giving false the ~ Senate. The papers also shotiv he has' been cooperating with prosecutors ins It could not be learned 'precisely what criminal charnel might have ~ been recommended in the remaining casea, or whether there has been plea 5TA'_tiSFIELD TiiI~YEitir - ' bargaining, as there was in the FIelm3 ) case. _ f Attorneys for the FT'I' officials f could not be reached for comment. ~~ Bell declined to comment on what his decision would be e?tcept to say the dispositions `'might not all be the ~_ same:' . - ~_ - Others familiar with deliberations in the investigation, however, said the 'potential case against Gerrity ap? -pears stronger than that against Gen- gen. - ' ' In his :M1tarch 2, I3?3, #estimony, Gerrity told the subcoinatittee that a ~. proposed Sl mi1L'on ITT. offer to the ~ CIA in 1979 was to promote agricut-i -tore and housing- in Chile, not to .block ?,llende's election. ti[embers of ~ :the subcommittee were openly skepti- cal of that explanation ai: the time. ? .Geneen testified on April 2, :9'73, that he had twice offered funds to the U.S. government to be used against f :Allende that he said the CIA declined. ~' ' :. It was disclosed is 19?3 that ~ ITT f `~ had Given at least?$3aU,0t10 to sttpportl Allerde's opponents.. In his testimony, Geneen said,. "Nor' - did ITT contribute money to any per- son or to any agency o? any govern-i =ment to block the-- election of ~.1-~{ Ile also testified that "ITT did_'aoty take any steps to block the election of :Salvador Allende as president ~ot Approved For Release 2007/06/14 :CIA-RDP99-004988000100130009-1 --- -