Natalia Sedova Trotsky
Written: April 1941.
Source: The Militant, Vol. V No. 33, 16 August 1941, p. 3.
Online Version: Natalia Sedova Internet Archive, May 2016.
Transcribed/HTML Markup: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
(The following declaration by Natalia Trotsky concerning the GPU’s secret moves to liberate Leon Trotsky’s assassin has been published in the entire Mexican press.)
The GPU plans to provide in Jacson, the assassin of Trotsky, an even more striking instance than the case of Siqueiros, of the immunity it can bestow upon its agents. Trotsky’s assassin is a constant danger to Stalin so long as he remains in prison. In despair he might one day decide to talk. This is why the GPU finds itself obliged to treat him with the greatest solicitude, lining his pockets constantly with money, paying handsomely for a lawyer who is cousin to the President of the Superior Court of the Federal District, and spreading a new net of falsifications and bribes to keep up the assassin’s hope of early freedom. True enough, this seems fantastic; but did the monstrous “lack of evidence” which freed Siqueiros seem less fantastic? After that instance, anything is possible!
From the latest moves of the defense, the authorities are aware that the GPU is preparing a plot to liberate its assassin. Public opinion should also become aware of it. Is everything possible for Stalin’s mercenary criminals?
The logic of the facts, the facts themselves and the shady maneuvers are so obvious, so cynically organized, that it seems inconceivable that the GPU agents who prepare them remain judicially secret. The person who appears as the exponent of these sophistries and the author of the maneuvers is, naturally, the criminal’s lawyer, Mr. Medellin Ostos. The most casual reader will begin by asking himself: “How is it possible for Jacson to retain an expensive lawyer when he totally lacks funds for the trial, personal connections of any kind, friends and known family?” The assassin not only has a high priced lawyer, but he also commands enough money (is there anyone who does not know that the money comes from the GPU?) to treat himself to the best of everything and to pay for the pleasures well-known to those familiar with the internal functioning of the penitentiary. Where is the GPU heading with its dubious maneuvers? On March 28th the assassin, obligingly questioned by Mr. Medellin Ostos, established the basis of the maneuver for which the gangster is paying the lawyer so well. The, assassin now says:
“... Colonel Salazar became irritated and said, ‘I am easygoing, but I also know how to employ other means ...’ having left and a short time later returned with a doctor ...; having given him (Jacson) an injection that made him lose consciousness immediately; ...; afterwards ... they gave him another injection in the hip which made him go completely mad ...”
Later statements indicate that the defense is trying to throw out all of the principal part of the assassin’s earlier statements, including the letter that the GPU put in his pocket. The defense is trying to begin the trial all over again in order to direct it ... where? It cannot yet be said with certainty. By some of the questions that the defense has successively put to various witnesses one can deduce, however, that the GPU is probing for an opening, is endeavoring artificially to stir up confusion and create contradictions, with one single end in view: to present, although without the least legal support, a new theory: Jacson killed ... in legitimate self-defense. If there had not existed judges to maintain that Siqueiros assaulted our house only to steal two automobiles which he abandoned a few hundred yards away, and papers that he tried to set afire together with the house and its occupants; if there had not existed judges who maintained that the gangsters of the GPU were “co-religionists” and that the shots fired over our bed were only for “psychological effects;” we would say in advance: the GPU will fail in its attempt. But Siqueiros, assailant, potential assassin, incendiary and accessory to murder, was also in the service of the GPU and went free. Why not Jacson?
It is true that seven months intervened between the date on which the assassin was supposedly injected and that in which he pretends, for the first time, to have talked and signed without knowing what he was doing. It is true that between these two dates long after the injections, the assassin confirmed his statement. It is true that the murder weapon has been recognized as Jacson’s by his friend J. Antonio Patino, by Sylvia Ageloff, and by the assassin himself. It is true that Colonel Sanchez Salazar interrogated him in Spanish which the assassin pretends not to understand. It is true that the English police gave sufficient data to identify the assassin as an agent of the GPU. It is true that everyone knows that Jacson is an agent of the GPU. But there were similar proofs against Siqueiros, and Siqueiros is traveling through South America under the protection of Ambassador Reyes Spindola.
Jacson was unaware of his pretended unconsciousness until after having been advised by his lawyer, Mr. Medellin Ostos. His disturbances and reactions originate rather in the latter’s advice than in injections. And even so, three months elapsed between the date in which Mr. Medellin Ostos took over the assassin’s defense and that on which his client first spoke of injections and disturbances; that goes to show that there could not have been a “revelation” by Jacson to his lawyer but rather that the latter put the lie in the mouth of his client.
The doctors who attended the assassin in the Cruz Verde hospital have certified that the substances injected into him were all completely harmless. Colonel Sanchez Salazar, to whom they attribute a falsification, is not a Trotskyist, nor are the doctors; and Jacson, himself, would not be worth such machinations. Then why? By whom? And the statements Jacson made after being injected? All reveal a sustained, logical, stubborn determination not to reveal names of collaborators, nor of friends, nor of relatives, nor of his employer, nor of any source of funds. In all this there is complete concordance with the letter written before the assassination. The nonsensical, absurd and maddening part of all this is that it merits attention only because it originates in the GPU and there is the precedent of Siqueiros.
Only the GPU – we will repeat this until doomsday – defends Jacson. We should have said – nothing less than the GPU. It paid for the crime, it will rescue the criminal. Mr. Medellin Ostos necessarily works in close collaboration with agents or sub-agents of the GPU; it pays. Fortunately for him, professional secrecy permits him to hide much important data which would serve to clarify the crime and its motives. We cannot expect any trace of honor in Mr. Ostos that would compel him to tell who pays him and why they pay him. Through him passes the line of communication between Jacson and the GPU – a fundamental point in the trial. With out that convenient professional secrecy, there are lawyers who might otherwise become defendants.
Natalia Sedova Trotsky
Last updated on: 22 May 2016