Former CIA agent Edwin Wilson, convicted of running guns to Libya, allegedly tried last week from his jail cell to arrange the murders of seven people, including the two prosecuting U.S. attorneys and five hostile witnesses, CBS News reported.
The network reported Friday night that while Wilson was being held in a New York area jail, he "arranged delivery of a $10,000 down payment for the murders to an intermediary, along with a hit list."
The intermediary, however, turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, and he arrested the messenger, who was Wilson's son.
CBS said the events were outlined in court papers the government served on Wilson's defense attorneys. Wilson, who is in Houston awaiting trial next week on charges of shipping 22 tons of plastic explosive to Libya, was moved to an isolation cell and was forbidden contact with anyone other than his lawyers, the network said.
The defense attorneys could not be reached yesterday. E. Lawrence Barcella Jr., the chief prosecuting U.S. attorney in the case and one of the seven alleged targets, said he would have no comment.
"Whether it's true or false, a couple of days before a trial you don't comment on anything," he said. "As likely as not it's a defense effort to try to get a continuance," a delay in the trial, "or maybe to generate pretrial publicity," he said. He refused to elaborate.
The other alleged targets included Carol Bruce, Barcella's associate prosecuting attorney, and five witnesses whom CBS did not name.
Wilson, 54, was convicted last month in Arlington, Va., of shipping M16 rifles and other firearms to Libya as part of a clandestine $22 million deal. His attorneys maintained he was actually gathering intelligence under secret orders from the CIA. The jury convicted him and he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Another ex-CIA agent also indicted, Francis E. Terpil, remains a fugitive.