Testimony at Oliver North's criminal trial ended Friday with the prosecution suggesting the ex-White House aide - who President Ronald Reagan once called "a true American hero" - was a thief and a liar.
Eight weeks of testimony from 50 witnesses and the introduction of more than 325 exhibits concluded after lawyers for independent prosecutor Lawrence Walsh brought on five final witnesses to rebut North's claim he harbored no criminal intent in his actions.North, 45, a former staff member of the National Security Council, watched impassively as the concluding witnesses testified Friday. His wife, Betsy, and son Stewart, 17, also watched the testimony, just 2 feet away from Christina Keker, the wife of chief trial prosecutor John Keker.
One of the last witnesses, former NSC office manager Mary Dix, testified that on at least five occasions in 1984 and 1985, North complained to her about not having enough money, even to buy gasoline to get home. Sometimes, Dix said, she gave him money out of her own pocket.
But by May or June 1985, Dix testified, North had stopped pressing for petty-cash advances or speedy reimbursement of travel vouchers.
At that point, North controlled a secret fund that paid for his clandestine resupply effort for the Nicaraguan Contra rebels.
As noon approached Friday, Keker fulfilled a legal formality by dramatically standing at his table and telling U.S. District Judge Gerhard Gesell, "Your honor, the government rests." Defense lawyer Brendan Sullivan responded, "The defense rests, your honor."
The judge, who had refused to sequester the jury during the trial, told the panelists he will keep them isolated after they receive the case next week and begin their deliberations.
Closing arguments from Keker and Sullivan are scheduled to start Tuesday and likely will go until Wednesday.