NEW YORK (Dec. 14)
A defense attorney cited new findings of a link between an Iranian informant and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Casey, in the latest development in the case of four Israelis and other international arms dealers charged with conspiracy to resell $2.5 billion of American arms to Iran.
Ronald Kuby, attorney for defendant Nicos Minardos, filed a motion in Federal District Court here last Thursday to show that Cyrus Hashemi, the government informant in the case who posed as an Iranian arms purchaser, “was involved in legitimate, government authorized shipments of arms to Iran.”
The defendants in the case have said they received approval for the resale of the weapons, some of which were located in Israeli stockpiles, from U.S. Administration officials, namely Vice President George Bush, former National Security Advisor John Poindexter, and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. P.X. Kelley.
The U.S. government prosecutor in the case, Lorna Schofield, has contended that the defendants’ activities were not sanctioned by the U.S. government. Schofield has also said Hashemi was an informant used in a “sting” operation orchestrated by the U.S. Customs Department.
Kuby’s motion referred to a report in Thursday’s Washington Post which detailed Hashemi’s connections with a close associate of Casey’s, Canadian businessman Roy Furmark.
ELEMENTS IN THE MOTION
According to the motion, “On December 10, 1986, one William Casey, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and testified that some of the U.S. authorized arms sales were routed through a group of Canadian businessmen, with the help of one Roy M. Furmark, described as a former client of William M, Casey and friend for many years ….
“Furmark, who apparently was operating with the full knowledge and approval of the government of the United States, was reportedly involved in an arms deal in 1985 whereby American arms would be shipped to Iran.”
Furmark’s partners in the operation were Hashemi and Adnan Khashoggi, the reputed Saudi billionaire who has emerged as one of several key middlemen in the official U.S.-Iranian contacts, arms sales and hostage releases in 1985, the Post reported.
One of the defendants in the New York case, Sam Evans, was Khashoggi’s attorney for many years and reportedly brought Khashoggi and Hashemi together in a joint venture to sell arms to Iran and execute cooperative projects. Evans represented Khashoggi in this joint venture.
FIRST ACKNOWLEDGEMENT BY A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL
Casey acknowledged that Furmark arranged an introduction between Hashemi and Khashoggi. “This revelation marks the first time any government official has acknowledged” Hashemi’s involvement in “legitimate, government authorized shipments of arms to Iran,” Kuby said in his motion, Kuby requested a court order that the prosecution produce all documents, notes, records and tapes of anything related to contacts between Furmark, Casey, Hashemi and Khashoggi.
Meanwhile, the prosecution requested and received last Thursday an additional week’s suspension of pretrial proceedings in the case because it is reviewing the newest developments. The request immediately followed a 10-day adjournment of proceedings for the same reason. The U.S. Attorney’s office is reportedly considering a dismissal of the charges in the case.