JONESBORO, Ga. -- Retired Army Col. Charles W. Scott, one of 52 Americans held captive for 444 days in Iran, says another hostage broke under pressure and gave information that resulted in torture for some of his countrymen.
Joseph Subic Jr., now 28, refused comment on the allegation, but his attorney described him as a scared kid who did not know how to act in a hostile situation. The hostages were released four years ago Sunday.
'Iran is in the past and I'm dealing in the present,' said Subic, a lieutenant in the Loudon County Sheriff's Department in Leesburg, Va. He referred all questions to his Michigan attorney, Gerald Davis.
'He was just a screwed up kid,' said Davis. 'He was a kid scared to death. He really did not understand what was expected of him.
'He was slapped and pushed around,' Davis said. 'Joe lost a lot of weight and part of his tooth. He thought he was going to lose his life and he gave them a lot of false information at the beginning, but these captors were very mean.
'Later he gave them information about the CIA, people who were either deceased or who had been transferred out of the country,' Davis said.
But Scott, now 52 and living in Jonesboro, said Subic was an informant from the very beginning.
'I'm sure he was scared to death at first,' said Scott. 'But old me comes first. Subic was a professional coward. It's hard for people to understand why he acted the way he did so early on.'
The 66 hostages in the embassy when it was captured two weeks after the shah of Iran was admitted to the United States for cancer treatments, included 13 women and blacks later declared by the militants not to be spies and released.
Hostage Richard Queen was freed when he developed multiple sclerosis.
The other 52 hostages, including Scott and Subic, were not released until Jan. 20, 1981 -- 444 days after they were captured.
Scott said immediately after the takeover Subic accompanied his captors, introducing each hostage and identifying areas of expertise each had.
''This is Chuck Scott,'' he quoted Subic as saying. ''He's a full colonel in the Army and speaks good Persian. He has been in Iran many times before and used to be an attache.''
Scott said the fact he speaks Farsi, or Persian, led the militants to believe he was a CIA agent. He said the night of the takeover he was hauled off for interrogation.
During that session and the ones that followed, Scott said, he was punched, kicked in the groin, hit with rubber hoses and beaten with a steel pipe that smashed three of his teeth. He was also denied sleep for days at a time.
Scott said Subic was to blame for much of the abuse. The soldier was later housed with Scott and other hostages for a brief time, after which he allegedly revealed the existence of a communication code among the hostages.
Col. Leland Holland, senior Army officer when the embassy was taken, said he believes Scott is correct in his assessment.
He said during the entire captivity he saw Subic for only two days - when the soldier was housed briefly with Holland, Scott and several other hostages.
'I did not personally see him do anything, but I will tell you Scott is not a liar,' said Holland, now stationed at the Vint Hill Farms Army base near Warrenton, Va.