ACCESSION NUMBER:296474 FILE ID:EPF509 DATE:07/23/93 TITLE:VIETNAMESE AMNESTY MAY HAVE RESOLVED A POW/MIA CASE (07/23/93) TEXT:*93072309.EPF *EPF509 07/23/93 * VIETNAMESE AMNESTY MAY HAVE RESOLVED A POW/MIA CASE (Article on HFRC subcommittee hearing 7/22) (470) By John A. Miller USIA Staff Writer Washington -- A Vietnamese amnesty program may have helped resolve a POW/MIA case according to testimony during a Congressional hearing July 22. In answer to tough questioning from Congressmen, State Department and Pentagon officials defended their investigation of documents in Russian archives related to the POW/MIA issue. Testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on East Asia Pacific Affairs were Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kenneth Quinn and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Edward Ross. They were both part of just-completed Special Presidential Delegation to Vietnam on POW/MIA matters. Rep. Gary Ackerman (Democrat of New York), who chaired the hearing, asked if the Vietnamese government had provided maximum cooperation and what more they could be specifically asked to do. Quinn replied that the Vietnamese government might enhance its amnesty program. He said the program permits Vietnamese to turn in without penalty human remains they have acquired for possible sale or in the hope of special treatment in emigrating to the U.S. The program has already yielded many remains and may have already cleared up one American POW/MIA case, Quinn said. Quinn said the Vietnamese could advertise the amnesty program more extensively, and the U.S. has offered to pay for this. Ackerman suggested giving the Vietnamese government a specific deadline for responding to this proposal. In response to questions by Delegate Eni Faleomavaega (Democrat of American Samoa), Ross said that the U.S. has provided the Vietnamese with everything the U.S. knows about every missing serviceman. Ross added that the U.S. has urged the Vietnamese to focus especially on 135 discrepancy cases, because these are the best candidates to still be alive. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Republican of California) suggested that the U.S. present the Vietnamese with a specific list of political prisoners and others in Vietnam who the U.S. feels may be subjected to human rights violations. Representative Benjamin Gilman (Republican of New York) directed the subcommittee's attention to POW/MIA-related documents recently found in Russian archives. Quinn said that "This is, by everybody's agreement, a 1lawed document." Ross said the U.S. staff of ten working on the POW/MIA issue in Moscow "have aggressively pursued documents." He added that he thought there are probably many more "Russian intelligence documents of interest to us." When Ross said that the document in question was initially outside the U.S.-Russian joint task force search because it involved POWs not on Russian soil, Ackerman directed that a formal request be made to the task force to include such documents in future searches. NNNN .