Judge Halts Soviet Spy’s Account; Jurors Go Home
A federal judge abruptly interrupted the testimony of an admitted Soviet spy today, saying there had been “some developments” that needed to be resolved before she could continue.
U.S. District Judge David Kenyon sent jurors in the Richard W. Miller espionage trial home for the day, then said he would meet privately in his chambers with the witness, Svetlana Ogorodnikova, and her attorneys.
“We’ve had some developments and they will have to be addressed,” Kenyon told jurors. “There’s just no way we can proceed today without resolving some of the issues that were raised by these developments.
” . . . The reason I’m being obtuse is it would be wrong to say anything to the jury at this time.”
He sent them home with a stern warning to avoid exposure to any media coverage of the case before they return to court on Friday.
“I hope we will by then be in a position to continue with our testimony,” he said.
The interruption came during a brief recess after Ogorodnikova said she was tired and wanted a break. She testified earlier that a former lover in the FBI suggested she talk to agent Miller when the spy trial defendant contacted her in 1984.
“Somebody unknown called me and this person said he was Mr. Miller,” Ogorodnikova said as she began her third day on the witness stand in Miller’s trial.
She said that after the telephone contact, she called the FBI office and spoke with her former lover, John Hunt. She said she asked him for advice, and he asked the name of the agent who had contacted her.
“I said Richard W. Miller. He said, ‘You can talk to him right now,’ and he passed the telephone to him and said to find out why he wanted to meet me. . . . I talked to Hunt and he asked me to go see that man and find out what he wanted,” she said.
Hunt has testified that he had nothing to do with setting up the meeting between Miller and the Soviet woman who ultimately became Miller’s lover during an affair in 1984.
Ogorodnikova said that on their first date, Miller asked her to become an FBI informant and she refused, telling him she had had a bad experience with Hunt.
By then, she said, she lived in fear of the FBI and had been led to believe by Hunt that she could be hurt.
“Hunt told me once that his people, FBI or KGB, could hurt me. He was afraid of FBI and CIA,” she said.
At another point, she said of Hunt, “He was always telling me he would get me in trouble, and that kind of trouble I would never be able to get out (of), that he would deport me and testify against me in court.”
During her second day of testimony Wednesday, Ogorodnikova said the now-retired Hunt got her pregnant and paid for her abortion during their 1982 affair.
Hunt, who testified previously in the Miller case, swore he never had sexual relations with Ogorodnikova but spent months trying to cultivate her as an FBI informant. He admitted he took her to a doctor but said it was because she told him she had a rare blood disease. (Story, Part 2, Page 1)