Full transcripts of five tape recordings of deposed Panamanian leader Manuel Antonio Noriega's telephone calls from a Miami jail were released yesterday in Miami, ending a clash between Cable News Network and U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler.

The transcripts portray Noriega speaking to friends and supporters in what officials describe as code, referring to items that are "frozen" and promising to send a fax "so you can grab it and pass it on to the grandfather."

CNN gave electronic copies of the tapes to Hoeveler after he had issued a temporary injunction Nov. 8 barring broadcast of privileged attorney-client conversations and the network lost appeals of his decision before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

After the injunction, CNN aired a portion of the tapes that it said featured Noriega speaking with employees of his Miami lawyers about two potential witnesses.

Hoeveler wanted the tapes reviewed to see whether they contained additional conversations that might involve attorney-client discussions. On Tuesday, Hoeveler said only one other such conversation, too cryptic to be meaningful, was found.

Court personnel translated and transcribed the CNN tapes, which included just a few of countless calls that officials have said were made by Noriega from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Miami. He is being held there awaiting trial on charges of drug racketeering.

When four other news organizations sought release of the CNN transcripts, Hoeveler agreed Tuesday but gave CNN two days in which to appeal making the transcripts public. CNN chose not to do so.

"If this court's actions in this highly publicized matter are to be accorded any meaningful public scrutiny, then the public should have access to all of the contents of the transcripts which formed the basis for the court's ruling, and not simply those small portions which CNN chooses to air," Hoeveler said.

As extensively reported, the transcripts show that Noriega was speaking principally to close associates or family members in what officials view as coded messages or personal references that only close friends can interpret.

At one point, Noriega asks, "Okay, listen, did you talk to Lazarillo?"

"Yes, we had breakfast real early this morning," said a voice identified as that of Joaquin Fernandez, one of his attorneys.

"Ah, good."

"Everything, everything's super good with him. I gave him your . . . thing . . . the message, a little confusing. You'll have to explain it better, later because Leon gave me a very nebulous explanation."

"Well, it's that the thing hasn't arrived, see?" Noriega said.

During another call, a person referred to as Norma said, "Since we are all frozen here and over there, it wouldn't be a problem."

"Uh huh," Noriega said.

"So we would need an emissary."

"Uh huh."

"Then . . . today, as my friend who gave the ceviche {marinated raw fish} came," she said.


"It occurred to me."


"That at a given moment there we have. . . . "


" . . . a good towel."

"Ah, perfect," Noriega said.

"And the important thing is that it should be a hand {towel}."

In another development yesterday, Luis del Cid, a codefendant in the Noriega case, entered a guilty plea before Hoeveler and agreed to testify for the government. Prosecutors allege that del Cid, who served under Noriega in the Panamanian Defense Force, was the former dictator's courier and accepted drug payoffs for Noriega from Colombia's Medellin drug cartel.

Del Cid, 47, pleaded guilty to one conspiracy count and affirmed his role in what the government alleges was a conspiracy headed by Noriega to protect cocaine-trafficking.