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North Trial Lawyers Try for Reagan

From Associated Press

Oliver L. North’s lawyers today sought to force former President Ronald Reagan to appear as a lead-off witness when the defense opens its case next Friday at North’s Iran-Contra trial.

“The importance of Mr. Reagan’s testimony to the defense of this case is clear both from the record in the trial to date and from” North’s opposition to Reagan’s efforts to quash the subpoena, North lawyer Brendan Sullivan said.

In a two-sentence motion, Sullivan asked that U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell “enter an order” enforcing an earlier subpoena for Reagan’s appearance at the trial of the former White House national security aide.

Gesell ruled Jan. 30 that the former President shall remain “subject to call” in connection with a subpoena issued by North’s lawyers Dec. 30.

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North’s lawyers have tried to bring out at the trial that Reagan was much more involved in secretly assisting the Contra rebels in Nicaragua when military aid was banned by Congress than has previously been known publicly.

Sullivan brought out that the then-President personally approved a secret 1985 deal to give Honduras $110 million in covert aid as an inducement to support the Contras.

The defense also brought out that Reagan apparently approved a plan to airdrop intelligence data and recoilless rifles to the Contras for the purpose of destroying ships carrying arms to the Nicaraguan government.

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