861.20211 Gubitchev, Valentine/9–2849

The Department of State to the Embassy of the Soviet Union

The Department of State refers to note no. 118 of the Embassy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, dated September 28, 1949, concerning the arrest and prosecution of Mr. Valentin A. Gubitchev. In this note the Embassy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics again states that Mr. Gubitchev’s arrest and prosecution is a violation of generally recognized rules of international law as well as of the laws of the United States. The Embassy states further that “the actions of the American authorities appear even more arbitrary because V. A. Gubitchev has not committed any crime against the Government of the United States of America.” The Embassy concludes by insisting “on the immediate discontinuance of the illegally initiated prosecution of V. A. Gubitchev, on his immediate release and on prosecution of those persons who have been guilty of committing with regard to Gubitchev the illegal actions indicated above.”

With regard to the claim that Mr. Gubitchev enjoys an immunity to arrest and prosecution in the circumstances of the case, the Department of State has nothing to add to what was contained in the Department’s aide-mémoire of March 24, 1949 and April 28, 1949. Those [Page 801] communications indicate clearly that Mr. Gubitchev, as a member of the United Nations Secretariat, is not entitled to immunity from arrest and prosecution for the acts for which he has been indicted and is awaiting trial in the courts of the United States. The Government of the United States is free, therefore, under the laws of the United States, including international agreements to which the United States is party, to bring Mr. Gubitchev to trial.

The arrest and indictment of Mr. Gubitchev are based on evidence indicating that Mr. Gubitchev and Miss Judith Coplon, a United States citizen, were engaging in activity in violation of the laws of the United States. Whether Mr. Gubitchev was in fact guilty of such violation will of course be determined at his trial which is scheduled to take place in the near future.

Under the circumstances the Department of State cannot comply with the request of the Embassy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that prosecution of Mr. Gubitchev be discontinued and the individual released.