Two retired Fairfax City police officers and one man still on the force testified in court yesterday they knew little about the CIA's activities when they participated with CIA officials in a raid on a Fairfax City photo studio six years ago. They said they were merely following the orders of their superiors.
The three men and the city's police department are being sued in Alexandria federal district court for $12.6 million by Orlando Nunez and Deborah Firzgerald, who owned the now-defunct Roland photographic studio at 10419 Main St.
The suit claims that Nunez's and Fitzgerald's constitutional rights were violated and that the CIA, with the help of the Fairfax City police, engaged in electronic and photographic surveillance of their business, breaking and entering, blacklisting, opening their mail and illegal examination of their Internal Revenue Service and bank records.
The three men - former city Police Chief Leonard P. Kline, retired Chief of Detectives Carl W. Buchholt and Robert L. Fleck, who has been on the force since 1967 - testified that they had no knowledge of such activities.
They said they were told only that one of the owners of the photo studio (Nunez) was a Cuban national and that his associate (Fitzgerald) was an ex-CIA employee. They testified they were told this several hours before the break-in was carried out Feb. 19, 1971.
The three also testified they assumed the CIA had a search warrant for the break-in and that they themselves never entered the photo studio but were stationed at a nearby parking lot and at the outside door of the building that housed the studio in order to keep other local police from interfering.
Kline testified he was told that CIA agents were taking photographers of files in the office to determine "what was going on there" involving former CIA employees and Cubans.
Justice Department sources said last year the CIA broke into the studio because it received information that, while employed in the records department at the CIA, Fitzgerald had looked at classified files and relayed information to Nunez.
Nunez and Fitzgerald testified that their photographic business declined following the 1971 break-in because customers became suspicious of them. The business was severely hurt after the incident was publicized in June and July, 1975, they said. The raid was disclosed through a Rockefeller Commission report on CIA domestic activities released in June, 1975.
Nunez and Fitzgerald married in 1973, but are now seeking a divorce. They testified that adverse publicity resulting from the break-in hurt their marriage as well as their business.
Under cross-examination, Fitzgerald testified that the incident so disturbed her and her husband that it resulted in her "running around with another man and his "Nunez's) running around with other women."
She testified that while she was employed at the CIA, Nunez jokingly said (the CIA) probably had a file (on him, "so I went to look at it."
Nunez once worked in the Castro regime in Cuba, then joined the U.S. Army, but deserted after several months.
Fitzgerald testified she told Nunez about a report in his CIA file of the Army's interrogation of him after he turned himself in subsequent to deserting.
"What I disclosed to him he already knew," Fitzgerald testified.
Under cross-examination she said it is common practice for CIA employees to look up files of other people, especially celebrities.
"They're always looking up [Aristotle] Onassis' file, Hitler's file, any famous person's file. It was just like the public library."