Accused Spy Denies Stealing Secrets

Robert Lee Zimmer - Associated Press Writer - November 15, 1978

Accused spy William Kampiles denied Wednesday that he stole a top secret satellite surveillance system operating manual while he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Kampiles, 23, has been on trial for seven days, accused of stealing and selling the manual for $3,000 to a Soviet official in Athens, Greece, last February. The system is capable of monitoring and photographing movement of troops and equipment.

Kampiles, who worked for the agency as a clerk from March to November 1977, told a federal court jury that he went to Athens last February, and had four meetings with a Soviet embassy official he identified as "Michael."

Kampiles testified that he lied to the Soviet about his age, identity and employer, telling the man he still worked for the CIA and had access to top secret information.

He said "Michael" apparently was fooled by the story and believed he would work for the Soviets.

"He told me his superiors had agreed to pay $10,000 a trip to Athens if I came with information," Kampiles said.

Kampiles said he read the manual for the satellite system three or four times as part of his official duties, and was required to refer to it on other occasions.

The government says Kampiles confessed to stealing the document and storing it in his bedroom at his mother's Chicago apartment until his trip to Greece.

Kampiles' mother testified that he lived with her after he left the CIA, and she did not see the manual even though she often went into her son's room.

The defense contends that Kampiles was coerced into confessing. His attorneys say he contacted Soviet officials in Athens, and tricked them into believing he would work for them.He thought that would convince the CIA to hire him as a double agent, the defense says.