Former CIA counterintelligence chief James J. Angleton has sued Stansfield Turner, the agency's current director, for access to documents bearing on the handling of a high-ranking KGB defector, Yuri Nosenko.
During hearings by the House Assassinations Committee, Angleton was criticized for the counterintelligence division's management of Nosenko's defection, which included subjecting the former KGB official tothree years of solitary confinement.
The critical testimony was provided by retired CIA official John L. Hart who was called back to active duty to review the agency's handling of the Nosenko case.
In his suit Angleton charged that Hart had made statements which "were frequently false and misleading" about his involvement in the Nosenko defection. He said the agency had denied him access to documents necessary to defend himself.
Hart termed the handling of the Nosenko case "anabomination" because of the harsh treatment inflicted on the defector. The brunt of Hart's testimony was that Nosenko had valuable information to pass on to his American debriefers but was subjected to abuse because of the suspicions of the counterintelligence division that he was not a genuine defector.
Among the matters on which Nosenko was considered competent to testify was the KGB file on Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of President John F. Kennedy.
Angleton contended in the suit filed in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria that he had been promised access to documents bearing on Hart's testimony and was then denied the material.