Soviet spy John Anthony Walker Jr. has revealed "no surprises" about the role of his older brother Arthur James Walker in the espionage ring, a lawyer for Arthur Walker said today.
The comment by Samuel W. Meekins Jr. came after Arthur Walker's attorneys met for 90 minutes today with FBI agents who have interviewed John Walker. Arthur Walker, 51, a retired Navy lieutenant commander, is to be sentenced Tuesday on seven counts of espionage and conspiracy.
He faces a maximum sentence of three life terms plus 40 years.
Meekins said John Walker, 48, told the FBI in debriefings after his guilty plea Oct. 28 that Arthur Walker did not engage in espionage during his 20-year Navy career.
"John corroborates Arthur," who said his younger brother recruited him for the spy ring in 1980, seven years after Arthur Walker's retirement from the Navy, Meekins said.
Meekins also said Arthur Walker, who did not testify at his trial, will probably testify at the sentencing hearing. It would be the first public statement from any of the four men charged in the case.
Rita Walker, Arthur Walker's wife, also is likely to speak, Meekins said.
Arthur Walker's lawyers asked for the meeting with the FBI to combat what they termed "suspicion" and "innuendo" contained in a confidential presentencing report about their client.
Justice Department officials have expressed concern, based on findings that some of Arthur Walker's responses in a lie detector test were "deceptive," that he may have been involved in espionage during his 20-year Navy career.
Meekins also said the presentencing report suggests that Arthur Walker may have passed more documents to his brother than he has admitted. In interviews with the FBI and testimony before a federal grand jury before his arrest, Walker said he passed two confidential documents from VSE Corp., a Chesapeake, Va., defense contractor where he worked as an engineer.
John Walker's statements to the FBI supported his brother's account, Meekins said.
U.S. District Judge J. Calvitt Clarke Jr. found Arthur Walker guilty of espionage Aug. 9 after a nonjury trial.
John Walker and his son, Navy Seaman Michael Lance Walker, 22, pleaded guilty in federal court in Baltimore last month to espionage and conspiracy. Under the terms of the plea agreement, John Walker is to receive a sentence of life in prison and Michael Walker is to be sentenced to 25 years. A fourth man, retired Navy communications expert Jerry Alfred Whitworth, is to stand trial Jan. 13 in San Francisco.