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Miller Kept in Sensitive Job After FBI Started Probe

August 18, 1985|WILLIAM OVEREND | Times Staff Writer

Hunt, who now lives in the Seattle area, again recounted his relationship with Ogorodnikova, saying he ultimately decided there was no way to determine if her true loyalties were to the United States or to the Soviet Union.

A major theme of Miller's defense is that he was simply trying to make himself look like a possible recruit for the Soviet KGB and that Hunt had done virtually the same thing two years earlier.

Joel Levine, another of Miller's lawyers, had limited success in pressing Hunt to concede that he had tried to appear to be a possible target for Soviet recruitment by telling Ogorodnikova to tell Soviet officials that he was married, liked to "get around" and enjoyed a drink or two.

No 'Dangle Operation'

Hunt, denying that an FBI agent would ever pose as a possible Soviet recruit in a "dangle operation," said his only intention with Ogorodnikova was to see how the Soviet KGB would react to the prospect that she might be a double agent. If there had been KGB interest, Hunt said, the FBI might have used Ogorodnikova to pass false information to the Soviet Union in a "disinformation" operation.

"Was there ever a plan to put you in direct contact with agents of the Soviet Union?" U.S. Atty. Robert C. Bonner asked Hunt.

"No, there was not," Hunt replied.

"Why wouldn't an FBI agent be used in a dangle operation?" Bonner asked.

"Because in order to establish his credibility he would have to give up classified information and documents, which we would not do," Hunt said.

Trial Resumes Wednesday

Miller's trial resumes Wednesday with testimony by FBI surveillance agents who followed Miller and the Ogorodnikovs and monitored their phones for about a month after the FBI investigation into their activities began about Sept. 1.

Miller, 48, who joined the FBI in 1964 weighing about 180 pounds, ballooned to almost 250 pounds at various points in his career. The FBI's maximum acceptable weight for an agent of Miller's height--5 feet, 10 inches--is 193 pounds.

Confined at the federal prison on Terminal Island, Miller has been trying to lose weight since his arrest last October by pacing his room, estimating that 100 trips around the room is roughly equivalent to a mile. Last week, he appeared to have slimmed down since his appearance as a witness in the Ogorodnikov trial in June, and government officials estimated his weight at 225.

Miller's wife, Paula, has been banned from observing her husband's trial because she is a possible witness. None of Miller's eight children have attended any of the trial sessions in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge David V. Kenyon.

Miller, wearing a three-piece gray, pin-striped suit, maintained a solemn appearance throughout the first two weeks. A Mormon who was excommunicated from his church in early 1984 for adultery, Miller kept a Bible with him in the courtroom and clutched it Friday as he was led from the courtroom in handcuffs.

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