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OUTTAKES THE SEQUEL

Flying South

February 07, 1988|Ellen Farley

Vet screenwriter and convicted arms smuggler Bill Norton ("Brannigan," "Big Bad Mama") and co-writer-activist wife Ellie have set down in Managua, Nicaragua.

If you've been following their saga, they got out of jail in France for trying to smuggle arms into Ireland for the IRA. They can't come back to the U.S. because they face federal weapons smuggling charges here, where the arms allegedly originated.

Producer Mike Wise, Norton's longtime friend and agent, told us that he spoke to Norton, 62, by phone and related that French authorities (who don't extradite for political reasons) originally told Norton he could have four months' asylum in France. "Then they told him he had to get out," Wise said. "But he couldn't come here because the FBI would put him on trial.' " Nor would the Nortons be welcome in England, Ireland or Western Europe, which cooperate on extradition.

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