HONOLULU (KHON2) — After backing off on some spy allegations against a Kapolei couple, federal prosecutors are stepping it up by releasing transcripts of the couple’s recorded conversations.
The feds said Walter Primrose and Gwynn Morrison talked in whispers about moles as well as protocols if they were caught.
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Primrose and Morrison were back in federal court on Monday asking the judge to release them on bail which the judge denied.
In response to the defense attorney’s motion for release, the feds released transcripts of the couple when they were in FBI custody shortly after the arrest. Records said during the couple’s conversations, they whispered and at times, Primrose would snap his fingers.
At one point Morrison said, “Who would start something like this? Well, yes, unless (She then whispers) unless they say we were agents of a foreign power.” Primrose responds and then starts snapping his fingers when Morrison starts talking.
At another point as Primrose is about to say something, the transcript said Morrison said, “We have protocols we have protocols.”
Primrose also said maybe there’s a mole as to why they were arrested.
In the court documents, prosecutors said, “The FBI knows that foreign intelligence services have protocols that they teach their agents.”
And “…the term ‘mole’ can refer to a foreign agent or spy.”
But when the judge ruled to keep the couple in custody, she said it was not because of the spy allegations. It was because she sees them as a flight risk because they seem to have no ties to the community even though they have lived in Hawaii for over 20 years.
Some legal experts said the latest spy allegations aren’t enough on their own.
“You have to have an expert testify to that. You have to have someone schooled in spy craft to come forward for the government and this is really what was happening and we know that Russian spies do this,” said Ali Silvert, a retired federal public defender.
But court records showed that investigators also seized five laptops, six cellphones, and hard drives from the Kapolei home. Feds say those devices are still undergoing forensic examination.
“So in the future, if something more develops in terms of the spy front and they’re willing to divulge that information, it could come up again,” said Silvert.
A hearing is scheduled on Tuesday to determine the date of the trial.