WASHINGTON — Sixty-six pounds of Swiss bank records that would be a central piece of evidence in any criminal prosecution of principals in the Iran-Contra affair were turned over to U.S. investigators today after a year of court fights to lift Switzerland's banking secrecy laws, the office of special prosecutor Lawrence E. Walsh announced.
The Swiss Ministry of Justice supplied the records to Walsh's investigators, who went to Switzerland to get them.
The records, which concern accounts controlled by former Air Force Maj. Gen. Richard V. Secord, his partner, Iranian-born businessman Albert Hakim, and arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar, are one of the most important pieces of the Iran-Contra puzzle.
The records concern several accounts set up in 1985 and 1986 by Secord, Hakim, Ghorbanifar, fired National Security Council staffer Oliver L. North and other intermediaries.
Secord, Hakim and Ghorbanifar had challenged the release of the records and, without them, Walsh's office has been reluctant to make a final decision on whether to seek indictments in the scandal.