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Panels Delay Hakim Testimony to Let Investigators Check Leads

May 27, 1987|From a Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — The Senate and House committees investigating the Iran- contra scandal decided Tuesday to delay testimony from Iranian-American arms dealer Albert A. Hakim to allow investigators sufficient time to look into leads that he provided them in a weekend interview.

Hakim was to have been the first witness when the hearings resume today after a break for the Memorial Day weekend. In his place, the committees will hear from Robert C. Dutton, who, like Hakim, was a business associate of retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Richard V. Secord.

Committee investigators, who questioned Hakim privately throughout most of the Memorial Day weekend, declined to say what new evidence he provided.

As Secord's principal business partner, Hakim controls a web of secret Swiss bank accounts through which $3.5 million was diverted from the Iranian arms sales to the Nicaraguan resistance. At least $8 million in unspent proceeds from the Iran-contra affair remains in those accounts, which have been frozen at the request of the U.S. government.

Dutton, a retired Air Force colonel who has been granted limited immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony, supervised Secord's contra supply network from April, 1986, until it was exposed in November. He also went to Beirut with Secord on Nov. 2 to debrief freed American hostage David P. Jacobsen.

Dutton is expected to be followed to the witness table by Felix Rodriguez, a former CIA operative who, under the alias of Max Gomez, worked for the Salvadoran air force at Ilopango air base and acted as liaison with private American crews involved in the contra supply network.

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