Two Found Guilty Of Disrupting Oliver North Testimony
Nov. 21, 1987
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Two men were found guilty Friday in District of Columbia Superior Court of charges stemming from their disruption of Lt. Col. Oliver North's testimony at the Iran-Contra hearings this summer.
Michael Bardoff and Michael Kreis, members of a protest group called Baltimore Emergency Response Network, are to be sentenced Dec. 7 for demonstrating in the U.S. Capitol and disrupting an orderly session of Congress.
Each charge carries a maximum of six months in jail and a $500 fine.
On July 9, the men entered the nationally televised hearings with other members of the general public. As North was testifying, they unfurled a banner at the back of the room that read ''Ask about cocaine smuggling.''
Police immediately grabbed the banner, which was a reference to drug smuggling by U.S.-supported contras in Nicaragua, and took Bardoff and Kreis out of the room.
During the seven-day trial before Judge John Suda, the defense argued that international law justified the men's actions and claimed ''defense of necessity.''
Both claims involve the argument that a matter of greater importance than than keeping the peace in the hearing justified the actions.
Defense attorney Nina Kraut argued that the United States' action in Nicaragua violates international law.
''That law mandates American citizens to do something to motivate their government to follow international law,'' she said.