Panel clears Bush

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A congressional panel yesterday cleared President Bush of allegations that he took part in a 1980 meeting in Paris where a deal was made with Iran to delay the release of US hostages. But the task force announced it would continue to investigate whether the campaign of the former president Ronald Reagan conspired with Iran to delay the release and prevent the re- election of Jimmy Carter.

'All credible evidence leads to the conclusion that President Bush was in the United States' between 18 and 22 October 1980, the dates when he was alleged to have flown to Paris for secret meetings with Iranian representatives, said Congressman Lee Hamilton. He announced the interim findings of a task force formed to investigate the 'October Surprise', in which the Reagan campaign is alleged to have cut a deal with Iran to prevent Mr Carter from bringing home the 52 US hostages captured in 1979 at the US embassy in Tehran.