Arthur Walker Testifies at Whitworth Trial
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Convicted spy Arthur Walker testified Wednesday he knew the classified information requested by his younger brother, masterspy John Walker, would be of interest to other countries.
″It seemed to indicate ... certain people now would be interested in classified information ... other countries for instance,″ said Arthur Walker during his testimony at the espionage trial of Jerry Whitworth.
Whitworth, 46, a retired Navy radioman from Davis, Calif., is accused of selling secrets for $332,000 to John Walker for relay to the Soviet Union between 1974 and 1983.
If the prosecution cannot prove that Whitworth ″knowingly and willfully″ passed documents to harm the United States and aid the Soviet Union, the defense hopes he will be acquitted.
John Walker, 48, also a former Navy radioman, pleaded guilty in October to three espionage-related charges and was the chief prosecution witness against Whitworth, his former friend and alleged recruit. Walker’s son, Michael, also has pleaded guilty.
Arthur Walker, 51, was found guilty in August of seven counts of espionage and sentenced to the maximum three life terms plus 40 years and fined $250,000 for his part in the family-based spy ring.
His lawyers are appealing his conviction on the grounds that the government failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he passed secrets to the Soviet Union. He said Wednesday he could benefit from his testimony.
″If the government is satisfied that I have testified truthfully, they have agreed to make my cooperation known to the sentencing court and the parole commission,″ he said.
Walker, who retired from the Navy as a lieutenant commander after 20 years of service, said his brother first tried to recruit him as a spy in January of 1980.
In earlier testimony, John Walker testified Arthur Walker was not involved in his 17-year espionage ring until he was recruited in 1980. But John Walker’s ex-wife, Barbara, testified Arthur Walker once told her he had also been a spy while stationed in Groton, Conn., in 1968.
Arthur Walker said a wholesale automobile supply store owned by himself and his brother had closed down in 1980, they owed some secured debts and he was unemployed when his brother first approached him.
″I expressed how really bad I felt,″ said Arthur Walker. ″He told me he had friends who would be willing to pay for military information.″
Arthur Walker said his brother told him the information was wanted by Jane’s Fighting Ships, a reference publication, and different industries. But he said he did not agree to join the spy ring at that time.
Between January and February 1980, Arthur Walker said they had about ″half a dozen″ conversations about the spy ring and that John Walker suggested he look for a civil service job that would give him access to military information.
Arthur Walker eventually found a job with VSE Corp., a defense contractor in Chesapeake, Va. in 1980. It was around this time that he found out others were involved the spy ring, but he did not elaborate. He said he first gave his brother classified information in late 1981.
″I provided him with some pages from a damage control book,″ he said, explaining that such a document is used as a training manual by ships and that it lists various equipment used in damage control.
He said in early 1982, he provided pages from another document and that he watched John Walker take pictures of the documents in his van.
Arthur Walker said that in late 1980 or early 1981, he had a conversation with his brother regarding how the information was acquired.
″He told me how it was generally done, that papers were photographed and transferred by film,″ Arthur Walker said, adding that his brother also showed him two cameras, including a miniature one.