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Hakim Target of Walsh Inquiry, Attorney Reveals

September 03, 1987|United Press International

WASHINGTON — A lawyer for arms dealer Albert Hakim, revealing today that his client is a target of the Iran- contra investigation, claimed that Hakim has a Fifth Amendment right to refuse to surrender foreign corporate records linked to the scandal.

Hakim, the financier of the Iran-contra scandal, is the latest figure in the foreign policy affair to lodge a challenge in federal court against independent prosecutor Lawrence E. Walsh.

Appearing before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Hakim's attorney, Richard Janis, argued that his client cannot be compelled to turn over corporate records of unidentified foreign companies, because they could eventually be used as evidence against Hakim.

Walsh's federal grand jury has subpoenaed those records.

"When a custodian of records is compelled to produce documents . . . that could later prove incriminating . . . then he has Fifth Amendment protections," Janis told the three-judge panel.

Paul Friedman, an attorney with Walsh's office, argued that Hakim must turn over the records, which he said are corporate documents in the form of telephone logs, minutes of meetings and other such matters.

Janis also revealed that the Iranian-born American financier, who was held in contempt by a federal judge for refusing to comply with the subpoena, has "been advised that he is in fact a target of the independent counsel's investigation."

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