Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 13, 1976 · Page 5
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 5

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 13, 1976
Page 5
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Page 5 article text (OCR)

5 A --June 13. 1976 Sunday Gazette-Mail Virginia Tony Callan Takes Responsibility By Hugh A. Mulligan LUANDA. Angola ( A P i - Defiant and unrepentant. Tony Callan took full respon- s i b i l i t y S a t u r d a y for crimes charged against the 13 mercenaries on trial for their lives here. He refused to testify further and listened as prisoner after prisoner told how he massacred his own men. "All the men 1 which you captured were under my direct command." Callan said, sneering at a people's tribunal. "They were following my direct orders and 1 don't want to answer no more questions. O.K.'. 1 " The self-styled Col. Callan. told the court his real name. Costas Georgiou. then refused to answer any more questions. But the Greek Cypriot-born British national was still the star witness at the second day of the trial. Daniel Gearhart. 34, of Kensington. Md.. and Gary Acker. 21. of Sacramento. Calif., and Argentine-born Gustave Marcelo Grillo. 27. from Toms River. N.J., are being tried along with Callan and nine other British subjects before a five-member people's tribunal. All are charged with murder, pillage and the destruction of Angolan property under the 139-count blanket indictment. * * * BUT CALLAN has 18 separate charges "of numerous criminal acts." including the massacre of the British mercenaries, "killing defenseless people to incite terror" and ordering an Angolan soldier shot after stealing his watch and money, then reprimanding the mercenary who carried out the order "for using two bullets where one would have done." Callan may have been offering himself to a firing squad to save the others but it didn't keep them from telling about his massacre of 14 British mercenaries who refused to fight. Ex-British paratrooper Andrew McKenzie. testifying from a wheel chair, said he took part'in the killings under orders, but denied that the men's stomachs had been slit or their arms cut off. "They ordered me to open fire and we did. but 1 don't understand this open-stomach s t u f f . " he t e s t i f i e d in a q u i v e r i n g voice. "They died straight away." He and others told the story of how Callan had first shot one of the British mercenaries then ordered Sammy Copeland. his regimental sergeant major, to "wipe out" the others. He ordered the execution apparently because one of the men had fired a rocket at one of their own trucks which he had mistaken for a Russian tank. McKENZIE, WHOSE Angolan adventure cost him his left leg below the knee. said he argued with Copeland that it "was stupid to kill our own people. We could never return to England. He said if I didn't do it. 1 would be joining the others." Callan leaned forward with fury in his dark eves as McKenzie and others told how they feared him and plotted to escape from him in the dying days of the Angola civil war. After fixing each new witness with his stare. Callan then settled back to listen with bored indifference. McKenzie often buried his face in his hands and several times was prodded to attention by guards. There were also separate charges against McKenzie of killing other mercenaries, "kidnaping civilians for use as hostages" and "physical violence to a pregnant woman." But beyond being forced to take part in the massacre of the British mercenaries at Maquela Bridge, he denied them. He told how he had been recruited as a mercenary at "600 pounds a fortnight" in the "pub'ol the Queen's Hotel in Aldershot." and traveled in a plane to Zaire with other mercenaries under the guise of · · t h e Manchester football club."_ Six hundred British pounds is about SI.050. Ex-Marine commando John Lawlor said Callan. drummed out of the British army for robbing a post office in Northern Ireland tried to act like "a real officer, but lacked discipline. He should have ordered a court-martial" for the man who fired the rocket at the wrong ^target. WITH MORE than half the 13 prisoners already having stepped to the microphone to tell'their stories, the state prosecutor so far has not introduced any witnesses to back up the charges of murder of civilians and looting. American lawyer Robert Cesner Jr.. of Columbus. Ohio, mildly disciplined Friday for trying to help defend one of the Britons during cross-examination, kept a low profile at the defense table. Acker testified earlier that he never got to fire his weapon inside Angola. Gearhart will be the final prisoner to take the stand. moke a biq splash is summer in your newsvvim-sui separates by Ba Swim suits you car. purchase both pieces separately . . . for c super fit! V. e have c beautiful selection ot bright prints for you so come in make your selection then go m big splash at the pool . . . ot the beach . . . or right in your own back yard! Brief in sizes S - M - L 11.00. 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