While Jury Deliberates, North Travels for Speech
WASHINGTON (AP) _ While the jury continued deciding his fate Thursday, Oliver North turned his attention to a speech to an invitation-only audience in Ohio.
North, the former National Security Council aide being tried on 12 criminal charges stemming from the Iran-Contra affair, has made several speeches since the trial began on Jan. 31 at fees believed to be $20,000-$25,000 each.
Asked how much North was getting for Thursday night’s speech at the Bankers Club in Cincinnati, club manager Brian Lasure said ″that’s confidential.″
The legal bills of North, who has had at least three lawyers at the defense table and at times as many as five, are estimated at $380,000 a month.
Reporters in Cincinnati were told there would be no press coverage of North’s speech in DuBois Tower. The Bankers club’s 1,200 members principally are bankers, lawyers and businessmen and women.
The three men and nine women on North’s jury, meanwhile, deliberated for the sixth day without any hint of where they stand. They sent no notes out of the room and made no requests of the judge.
They quit for the day shortly after 4 p.m., having worked on their verdict for 5 1/2 hours - a total 32 1/2 in the six days.
All 363 exhibits, totaling some 1,300 pages are in the second floor courtroom where the jurors are meeting so there is no need for them to ask for specific documents.
Meanwhile, 10 news organizations, including The Associated Press, are appealing U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell’s ruling that they cannot see a North trial stipulation summarizing intelligence intercepts concerning a CIA-assisted arms shipment to Iran.
North’s lawyers and the American Civil Liberties Union are lining up on the side of the press, which is trying have the document - available to the jury - released to the public as well.
North attorney Brendan Sullivan read aloud part of the document during his final summation in open court last week.
Court security officers deleted some of Sullivan’s words from the official transcript, but Gesell ordered them restored after the motion by the news media. But he also declared the stipulation itself to be classified and that is the basis of the appeal.
The stipulation referred to intelligence ″intercepts″ that tracked - minute-by-minute - the CIA-assisted shipments of U.S. Hawk missiles sent from Israel to Iran in November 1985. North’s lawyers used it in an effort to show the shipment was known at the top levels of the government.
Sullivan told the jury to ″remember, Ollie North is charged with somehow doing a chronology and leaving out the November 1985 missile transaction and somehow fooling Casey and Poindexter, even though they got all this material which shows exactly what it was.″ The reference was to the late CIA Director William Casey and then-National Security Adviser John M. Poindexter.
Later in the censored-then-uncensored transcript, Sullivan called the intelligence intercepts ″the most guarded, most closely held intelligence in the United States government. ... They remain classified, top secret, code level even today.″
Gesell’s office said all of the jurors were bearing up well, apparently having overcome earlier health problems.
North is accused of lying to Congress to cover up his role in secretly assisting the Nicaraguan Contras and lying to the attorney general about aspects of the diversion of funds to the Contras from the Iran arms sales. He also faces charges alleging he personally profited from the affair.
Also Thursday, the chief judge of the Fairfax County Circuit Court said he had renewed North’s permit to carry a concealed weapon in the county, where North lives.
″It’s very unusual″ said Chief Judge Lewis Griffith, adding that of 77 applications filed in 1988, North was the sole recipient of a permit.
North feels threatened by terrorists and what his attorney calls ″the nut element,″ Griffith said.
One of the charges against North is that he accepted an illegal gratuity - a $13,800 home security system, which he says he needed because of terrorists’ threats.