An Air Force retiree testified Monday on how Oliver North and Richard Secord decided that one of Secord's companies should get title to the aircraft being used to secretly supply the Contras.
Richard Gadd testified at North's trial that "I objected somewhat strenuously" when Secord, one of North's co-defendants in the Iran-Contra case, summoned him to a meeting in January 1986 at a McLean, Va., restaurant. Secord said he had "changed his mind" and that one of Secord's companies would get title to the aircraft rather than a company Gadd controlled.After Gadd complained, Secord called North aside, the two spoke briefly, returned to the table and Secord "told me that is how it would be. Colonel North seemed to agree."
The C-7 Caribou aircraft had been purchased with funds generated by Secord's secret resupply operation to the Contras.
Eventually, the Contra leadership "felt the planes belonged to them," related Gadd, who described how Secord and North held another discussion about ownership during a plane trip to Central America.
"North agreed" once again that the planes belonged to one of Secord's companies, Udall Corp., and that the "Contras did not exercise total control," Gadd said.
Gadd, who retired from the Air Force in 1982 as a lieutenant colonel, also described North's involvement in other details of the Contra resupply operation. Gadd said a crewmen, Ian Crawford, described "what went wrong and what went right" with an airdrop of military supplies near the Costa Rican border in April 1986.
Among the 12 criminal charges against North are four counts of lying to Congress by denying his involvement in the Contra resupply operation.