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24 June, 2024
 
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New details emerge in Menendez's Qatari bribery allegations

Senator involved in gold bars, bribes, and Qatari investments

Newsroom

In a complex legal saga, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez finds himself ensnared in deeper troubles as fresh allegations unfold. Federal prosecutors claim Menendez, a prominent New Jersey Democrat, employed his international influence to facilitate a substantial deal for a friend with a Qatari investment fund.

According to a report on AP, These allegations, revealed in a revised indictment, compound Menendez's existing legal woes, where he was previously charged with clandestinely advancing Egypt's interests.

The superseding indictment, originating in New York, alleges that Menendez and his wife received bribes in the form of gold bars and cash from Fred Daibes, a New Jersey real estate developer. These alleged bribes were purportedly a reward for Menendez's involvement in securing a major investment from the Qatari fund. The intricate details disclosed in the indictment shed light on the senator's interactions with Daibes and the controversial timeline spanning from 2021 to 2023.

Adam Fee, Menendez's lawyer, vehemently dismisses the accusations, stating that prosecutors lack concrete proof of any wrongdoing. Fee characterizes the claims as a series of baseless assumptions, framing the situation as a persecution rather than a prosecution. Despite the mounting legal challenges, Menendez maintains that his actions were always in the best interests of the United States, emphasizing his commitment as a patriot.

Tim Donohue, representing Daibes, refrains from immediate comment on the unfolding situation. The indictment, however, leaves certain key aspects undisclosed, such as the identity of the Qatari royal family member involved. Attempts to reach out to Qatar's consulate in New York and the Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund, have gone unanswered.

While no new charges have been added in this latest version of the indictment, Menendez faces accusations of bribery conspiracy, which allegedly enriched him and his wife beyond the substantial cash and gold bribes. The allegations related to Qatar spanned from 2021 through 2023.

Beyond the Qatari dealings, the indictment sheds light on Menendez and his wife allegedly accepting bribes from two other New Jersey businessmen, all of whom have pleaded not guilty. The senator is further accused of ghostwriting a letter to fellow senators advocating for the release of $300 million in aid to Egypt.

Menendez's ties with Daibes, a powerful figure in New Jersey real estate development credited with the "gold coast" waterfront buildings in Edgewater, are detailed in the indictment. Daibes, who already faced federal fraud charges, was arrested in September on charges of bribing Menendez and attempting to influence a federal prosecutor in his bank fraud case.

The intricate timeline reveals Menendez's alleged efforts to publicly support Qatar during the investment negotiations. Instances like an encrypted message sharing a press release praising Qatar, followed by Menendez's suggestion to Daibes to send it to Qatari officials, illustrate the purported collaboration.

Post-trip activities, including Menendez's internet search for the value of one kilo of gold, add a layer of detail to the narrative. The Qatari Investment Co. eventually entered a joint venture with Daibes' company in May 2022, finalizing the deal in 2023. The indictment outlines the discovery of gold bars and cash at Menendez's residence, presenting evidence linking them to Daibes.

Notably, a Qatari investment official allegedly sent Formula One tickets to one of Nadine Menendez's relatives. The indictment concludes that Menendez failed to report the received cash and gold in required financial disclosures.

As the legal proceedings unfold, Judge Sidney H. Stein has stood firm in refusing to extend the May 5 trial date. In response, prosecutors express a willingness to accommodate a delayed arraignment or a virtual arraignment, adding further complexity to the unfolding legal drama. The reverberations of this intricate case extend beyond the courtroom, impacting Menendez's political future and public perception.

[With information sourced from AP]

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Cyprus  |  Qatar  |  UN  |  US  |  politics

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