Illinois Business Partner of Secord, Hakim Denies Wrongdoing
WASHINGTON (AP) _ An Illinois business partner of retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Richard Secord and Iranian-born businessman Albert Hakim says he is standing by his friends in the Iran-Contra investigation, but denies he was involved in the affair.
Larry Royer, an industrial equipment liquidater from Decatur, says he had nothing to do with the controversy, even though congressional investigators obtained notes he wrote in which his gun company’s projected foreign sales included mention of the Contras.
″What I meant was Contra-type operations,″ Royer said Friday, insisting the plan was not to sell guns to rebel forces fighting in Nicaragua.
″There’s a market around the world for that, even in the Philippines, South Africa,″ he said.
Royer, who buys and sells used industrial equipment, owns a timber business with Hakim and Secord, and with Secord formed a company to sell automatic weapons.
Secord and Hakim are close associates of former White House aide Lt. Col. Oliver North, who recruited them to handle the finances and help set up both the secret U.S. arms sales to Iran and the private supply network for the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
Royer was questioned May 21 by investigators from the select House and Senate committees on the Iran-Contra affair.
He said most of the questions involved Tri-American Arms, the automatic weapons sales firm he and Secord formed with Coloradan Don Marostika.
Royer said the notes he wrote in a meeting with Secord and Marostika projected foreign markets for the ″.22-caliber, rapid fire weapon″ with a laser on top, which they would buy for $250 each and sell for $1,800 each.
One page listed projected first-year sales, stating ″No domestic sales projected. 1,000-1,500 - Saudi and Gulf states. 4,000 Contra.″
Royer said the gun sales never got off the ground because a federal law against buying the guns was enacted.
The names of Royer, Tri-American Arms and SRH Corp., the lumbering venture, have been mentioned during the Iran-Contra hearings, but Royer said he was ″unaware of any link between these businesses and any plans to assist the Contras.″
He defended his friends’ role in the Iran-Contra affair, saying they were helping stem the spread of communism.
″As long as they’ve got their hands in the fire, I’ll hold my hand in the fire right along with them,″ he said Friday.
″They’re friends of mine, and that’s what I do with my friends,″ he said, adding, ″They did nothing wrong, and I did nothing wrong.″
He said he met Secord in 1982 while working on a project to sell planes owned by Braniff Airlines.
Hakim put up the $150,000 used to finance their lumbering company, which never began operations, he said.
″That’s all I know about, and that’s all I’ve dealt with,″ Royer said.