Wiretap Traces Harassing Calls
Harassing phone calls to David A. Guberman '71, who has charged one student and testified against four others for participation in the disruption of the March 26 Counter Teach-In, have been traced by wiretap to the phone of a Radcliffe junior.
The wiretap, conducted by the telephone company at Guberman's request after he had been repeatedly harassed over a two-week period, disclosed that eight calls had been made on the defendant's phone to Guberman between 12 and 2 a.m. on May 14.
The defendant, who chose to with-hold her name, denies that she made the phone calls and said last night that she will refuse to name the person who did.
The defendant will face charges before the CRR or the Cambridge courts, or both. Guberman said that he would rather see the defendant tried by the CRR than the Cambridge courts. "If Harvard is to govern itself, it would be unfortunate for it to have to go to the criminal courts to prosecute people for harassing witnesses in CRR cases," he said.
But if the CRR is unwilling to judge the case on hearsay evidence-if it demands to see the telephone company's transcript of the wire tap-the defendant may have to face a trial in the Cambridge courts.
"There seems to be a general rule that the phone company only gives transcripts of wiretaps to criminal courts," said John W. Moscow, a second-year law student assisting Guberman's lawyer, Walter A. Reiser, University counsel.
"Although there is no statute I know of prohibiting it, the phone company might open itself up to serious damage suits if it released transcripts," he added.
Take the Rap or Fink
According to Moscow, the defendant would be in "far, far 'better shape," before the CRR. "In the Cambridge courts, she'll have the alternative of taking the rap or finking on her friends."
In a CRR hearing, the defendant may take the stand and testify on the questions she chooses to respond to. In the Cambridge courts, if she chooses to testify, she must answer every question to the best of her knowledge or be held in contempt of court.
If she chooses to testify in the Cambridge courts, her lawyer will have to persuade the court that although the calls came from her single room in the early hours of the morning, she was not the caller. "It's highly dubious that she'll persuade anyone," said Moscow.
Even if the CRR hears the case andGuberman decides not to seek a judgment in the Cambridge courts, the courts may proceed to prosecute the defendant. "The phone company may not want to drop the case, and the court may rule that Guberman is unnecessary to the case," Moscow said.
The defendant says that Guberman agreed to try to withdraw his charges in the Cambridge courts if she asked the phone company to turn over the transcript of the wiretap to the CRR. Guberman maintains that he made this agreement only on the condition that "the necessary evidence" come before the CRR. "The necessary evidence" could be a plea of guilty, the name of the caller if it was someone else, or the wiretap transcript.
Guberman will probably have time to see if the CRR will make a judgment on the case before pressing charges in the Cambridge courts. The first CRR hearing will take place on or after June 1. while the case is due to be brought up in the Cambridge courts on June 8.
If the defendant is convicted in the Cambridge courts, she may face three months in jail and a $500 fine.