Senator Menendez in court to face bribery charges

2023-09-27 17:50:35, Kosova & Bota CNA
Senator Menendez in court to face bribery charges
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez faces bribery charges Wednesday in a New York federal court as calls mount within the Democratic Party for his resignation. Mr. Menendez has told the American media that he is innocent and that he has no plans to resign as a Senator.

Also included in the New York federal prosecutor's indictment are Senator Menendez's wife, Nadine, and three New Jersey businessmen, Jose Uribe, Fred Daibes and Wael Hana, who have also pleaded not guilty.

Businessman Wael Hana was arrested at New York's Kennedy Airport on Tuesday after he voluntarily returned from Egypt to face charges and was ordered released pending trial.

If Senator Menendez is found guilty of all three counts in the indictment, according to former federal prosecutor Adam Kamenstein, he could face a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison.

Since it became known that the criminal indictment has been filed, the voices that have called on Senator Menendez to resign are increasing. Among them, among the loudest was the Governor of New Jersey, the state that Mr. Menendez represents in the Senate, who said that the accusations are so serious that they affect his ability to adequately represent the people of New Jersey.

The senator has temporarily left the position of the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as this is how the internal rules of the American Democratic Party for officials facing criminal charges determine. But Mr. Menendez has refused calls to resign as a senator, clarifying that he will actually run again in next year's elections.

In details released last week, prosecutor Damian Williams said that “FBI agents discovered approximately $500,000 stuffed in envelopes and lockers. A part of the money, according to him, was found in the pockets of the senator's jacket, and for this he also published photos taken during the raid of the senator's house in New Jersey .

Prosecutor Williams said that " fingerprints of one of the accused businessmen were found in some of the money envelopes. Agents also discovered gold bars given by businessmen Fred Daibes and Wael Hana. The FBI, always according to prosecutor Williams, also found the Mercedes that the third accused businessman, Jose Uribe, gave them . "

The New York federal prosecutor's office clarified that it suspects that Senator Menendez took these bribes to use his influence to help Egypt's interests and at the same time provide support to the accused businessmen./ VOA

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