The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robson, Chief Judge.
This matter is before the court on the petition of the
United States for an order granting immunity pursuant to
18 U.S.C. § 6002-6003 to Leonard Patrick, a witness before the
Special November 1974 Grand Jury. For the reasons set forth
below, this petition shall be granted.
On January 31, 1974, Patrick was granted immunity by this
court pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 6002-6003 for testimony to be
given before the Special January 1974 Grand Jury. Patrick
thereafter testified before that grand jury on February 6 and
February 27, 1974. The Special January 1974 Grand Jury has
since been discharged and the Government now desires the
witness to testify before the Special November 1974 Grand Jury.
Section 6003 sets out the immunity procedure to be followed
in grand jury proceedings. The United States Attorney may seek
an immunity order only with the approval of the Attornet
General, Deputy Attorney General, or an assistant attorney
general who is designated by the Attorney General. Normally,
this provision is satisfied by the filing of a letter from the
Attorney General or his designate authorizing the United
States Attornet to seek an immunity order. Thus, prior to the
January grant of immunity, the Government submitted to the
court a letter from Henry E. Petersen, Assistant Attorney
General, to James R. Thompson, United States Attorney, dated
November 21, 1973, authorizing the United States Attorney to
seek an immunity order requiring Leonard Patrick to testify
"in the above matter and in any further proceedings resulting
therefrom or ancillary thereto. . . ."
It is the Government's position that since the areas of
inquiry of the Special November 1974 Grand Jury are the same
as those of the Special Januar 1974 Grand Jury, the Government
need not submit an additional authorization letter. The
witness contends that an additional letter is required every
time the witness is brought before a new grand jury.
The function of the authorization letter is to insure that
immunity orders are obtained only in situations where the
testimony of the witness is necessary to the public interest.
18 U.S.C. § 6003(b)(1). Once the Attorney General has made that
determination, it is immaterial whether the information sought
from the witness is presented to one or several grand juries.
The witness asserts that if the Government's position is
accepted he would be susceptible to recall before any grand
jury for an indefinite time. However, the Attorney General's
certification that the testimony sought is, in fact, necessary
is only valid so long as the focus of the inquiry remains the
same. If the United States Attorney seeks testimony not related
to the matter which gave rise to the original grant of
immunity, a second authorization letter would have to be
It is therefore ordered that the Government's petition for
an order granting immunity pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 6002-6003
to compel testimony before the Special November 1974 Grand Jury
shall be, and the same is hereby, granted.
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