CIA Official Testifies at Spy Trial

Robert Lee Zimmer - Associated Press Writer - November 13, 1978

A Central Intelligence Agency official who developed a manual for a sophisticated space satellite system said Monday the technical document could be extremely valuable to the Soviet Union.

Leslie Dirks, CIA deputy director for science and technology, testified in federal court during the trial of William Kampiles, accused of stealing the manual and selling it to the Soviet Union.

Dirks said the satellite system, which is capable of photographing things such as troop movements, is vital to monitoring Russian compliance with strategic arms limitation agreements.

Dirks said the manual, prepared under his direction in 1976, was designed to explain the system to persons who use the photographs.

He said the manual was classified top secret because it explains exactly how the system works, and explains its capabilities and limitations.

Kampiles had worked briefly as a clerk for the CIA at its Langley, Va., headquarters, but resigned in November 1977.

He was arrested at an apartment in Munster, Ind., in August and charged with six counts of espionage.

The prosecution contends Kampiles stole the manual and sold it to Russian agents, receiving $3,000 of a promised $10,000.