NATION : Iran-Contra Panel Hears North

From Times Wire Services

Oliver L. North began testifying today before a federal grand jury conducting a new investigation into the Iran-Contra scandal.

The former White House aide was ushered into the grand jury room by a prosecutor from the office of independent counsel Lawrence E. Walsh. North left the grand jury room briefly to confer with his attorneys and then went back into the room to resume testifying.

Sources familiar with the investigation said in April that North and former National Security Adviser John M. Poindexter were likely to be subpoenaed. Walsh's office is trying to determine the precise roles that then-President Ronald Reagan, then-Vice President George Bush and others played in the affair, the sources said.

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