The Clay Shaw preliminary hearing testimony of Dwight W. Martin
DWIGHT W. MARTIN, after being first duly sworn by the Minute Clerk, testified as follows:
You may proceed, Mr. Lemann.
EXAMINATION BY MR. LEMANN:
Q. Where are you employed?
A. At Royal Street Corporation, 520 Royal Street, New Orleans.
Q. What is Royal Street Corporation's business?
A. It has several businesses. One of them is the operation of Radio Station WDSU and the television station, WDSU-TV.
Q. Were you served this morning with a subpoena duces tecum in this matter?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And are you prepared to make the return?
A. I am.
Q. Your return consists of what?
A. The return consists of an audio tape of an interview held on February 24th, 1967.
Q. Do you have with you any film?
A. I have no film. I have no tape. I do have, however, audio equipment capable of reproducing the audio tape.
Q. When you say you have no tape, by that you mean no video tape?
A. That is right. I have no video tape with me.
Q. And the reason for that is what?
A. It would be physically impractical to the point of impossibility to produce video tape in the Courtroom for the sight of the Court and the other people present.
Q. And do I understand correctly that you have no film?
A. There is no film of the interview. There is just a video tape and audio tape.
Q. And do I understand that the audio tape you have was dubbed from the video tape on which the original interview is?
A. Yes, that is correct.
Q. Is there any way in which the visual, as well as the audio part of that interview can be displayed here, any practical way?
A. There is one, and that would be to put the video tape on the air over the facilities of Channel 6, install a television set in the Courtroom, and for the reception of the aired video tape received here.
Q. Are you prepared to do that, sir?
I tender the witness.
EXAMINATION BY JUDGE BAGERT:
Q. The tape you have, would that contain all of the interview, audio interview on that particular date?
A. Yes, Your Honor.
Q. You play it by one of your machines in the Courtroom -- you can do it on a portable machine?
A. Yes, the audio.
Q. What is the length of it?
A. Approximately nine minutes.
Q. And that would contain the entire substance of the interview that the attorneys are referring to which were taken February 24th, 1967?
A. Your Honor, I believe that to be the fact. I have not listened to this specific tape myself, but I believe that to be a true statement.
Would that suffice instead of having put it on WDSU again?
Your Honor, as long as it is practicable to show the video and have the audio here, we would prefer that, I think that this could, that this Court would be in a much better position to pass upon the value of this bit of evidence by seeing, as well as hearing.
When you say you can make a special showing from the station here, would that be directed right into this Courtroom only?
No, Your Honor, that would go over the air.
This would involve some sacrifice, of course, on the part of WDSU, which it is perfectly willing to make to accommodate the Court, but it would involve the preemption of its regular commercials.
We are satisfied the return of WDSU is substantial and a satisfactory return, if they will play the audio tape within the confines of the Courtroom.
EXAMINATION BY MR. DYMOND:
Q. Are you prepared at this time to run this tape, Mr. Martin?
A. The audio tape?
Q. That is correct.
A. Yes, we are.
Q. Do you have the necessary technician with you?
A. He is in Court at the present time.
Q. And the necessary equipment?
A. Yes, sir.
If the Court please, the arrangements suggested by the Court will be satisfied.
I would like to ask a few questions.
EXAMINATION BY MR. WARD:
Q. Has this tape been edited in any way?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Who would know whether it was edited?
A. The information on that would perhaps be in the hands of several individuals inasmuch as this specific tape has been in WDSU during the period of time since February 24th. All of these individuals, however, are under my jurisdiction, and I do not believe anyone would have edited it without having so informed me.
Q. Were you present during the interview?
Q. Is there any way you can testify from your own knowledge that it was not edited?
A. No, there is not.
Q. Then, we don't know whether or not this contains the full extent of the interview or not?
A. As far as my personal knowledge, no, we do not.
I submit that until it is proven this is a full interview, it is not admissible. We don't have any objection to the tape as long as it contains the full interview, but I don't think an edited interview ought to go on in this Court.
MR. DYMOND: There is no evidence whatsoever that this tape was edited. The film has been under this gentleman's jurisdiction since it was made. It would be absolutely impossible for anyone to prove a negative of that kind. Whether anyone else had authority to edit it or not, we know that they did not. How can we conceivably prove that someone who had no such authority did not edit it. That would be calling upon us to prove a negative.
We can have a representative of the defense and a representative of the State, under Mr. Martin's supervision, and go to the station and play it at the station, and after you determine that it has not been edited, then you can bring it back.
We will be happy to do that, Judge.
I accept this man's statement that it would not be edited. However, if it is to be played, I would like the witness, Perry Russo, be present in the Court when it is played.
Then we have no objections to this.
(Let the record show that the tape was played in the Courtroom.)
See transcript of tape attached hereto.
The stenographer has a copy. Do you want to get testimony from the stenographer whether or not their copy is a verbatim copy of this transcript, the testimony for the record?
I think it is a good idea.
All right, we will have the stenographer take the stand.