Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Scranage and Soussoudis indicted The CIA affair

The former CIA clerk Miss Sharon Scranage and her boyfriend Michael Agbouti Soussoudis who were arrested by the American FBI on espionage charges were indicted last Tuesday, August 6 by a federal grand jury in Alexandria.

An 18 count indictment of Sharon Scranage who was based in Accra from May 1983 to May 1985 alleged that she disclosed classified information, which included details about a planned coup attempt by dissidents against Ghana's military regime. In addition she gave the identities of eleven CIA informants and five CIA employees to Michael Soussoudis who is a cousin of Flt-Lt Rawlings.

Soussoudis was charged in a separate eight count indictment that alleges that he sought information from Scranage about Ghanaians working with the CIA and about dissident groups oppos- ed to Flt-Lt Rawlings. He is also charged with espionage, conspiracy to commit espionage, receiving classified information and conspiracy to receive classified information and has been held without bond since his arrest on July 18 despite a personal appearance in the court and a plea by the Ghana Ambassador, Mr Eric Otoo for him be released into his custody.

The indictment against twenty-nine year old Scranage alleges that she told Soussoudis, her boyfriend the identities of the chief of the CIA station in Ghana, two CIA communicators and the soon-to-arrive deputy chief of the CIA Accra station. She is said to have done this knowing that the "United States was taking affirmative measures to conceal" the relationships of these people with the CIA.

Scranage who also had 'top secret' clearance for her job as an operations support assistant took shorthand notes from the classified files in the CIA office to provide Soussoudis with information about "Ghanaian dissident activity and details of a planned coup by such dissidents".

Earlier the court had heard that in December 1984 Soussoudis, who had returned from the US to Ghana the previous month, visited Scranage armed with a 9mm automatic pistol. During the meeting Soussoudis was yelling and screaming and got upset by the fact that she was employed by the CIA.

Soussoudis asked her for classified information. When Scranage said she could not, Soussoudis replied, "yes you can, you are a CIA agent". It was then that Soussoudis made threats against CIA personnel and told her that "people more treacherous than himself could cause accidents like brakes going out or that somebody could be shot in the street".

Scranage's relationship continued despite feeling threatened by the fact that Soussoudis kept a pistol under his pillow when he slept.

Before her return to the United States Scranage met with members of Ghana's intelligence agency, including the head, Kojo Tsikata who since the CIA affair has been made a member of the ruling council, PNDC. At one of such meetings Soussoudis was instructed to gather additional information about Ghanaian dissidents from CIA files at its headquarters in McLean. She was subsequently given a carved wooden stool and a carved ivory elephant tusk as gifts from the Ghanaian intelligence officers.

Scranage's activities were detected when she was given a polygraph during a routine debriefing by CIA officials after her return to the US in May.

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