US charges Mugabe lobbyists

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TWO US men have been charged with illegally lobbying to have sanctions lifted against Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.

Mail&Guardian

United States federal prosecutors have announced charges against two Chicago men, who they accuse of illegally lobbying US lawmakers to lift sanctions against Mugabe and members of his regime in exchange for a promised $3,4 million.

Prince Asiel Ben Israel (72) and Gregory Turner (71) allegedly tried to persuade unnamed US state and federal lawmakers to oppose the sanctions against Zimbabwe.

The charges against them indicate that the men met with Mugabe, Zimbabwe Reserve Bank governor, Gideon Gono and other officials “multiple times” in the US and in Africa and allegedly agreed to lobby US federal and state officials on Zimbabwe’s behalf in exchange for the promised payments, which the defendants apparently weren’t able to collect in full.

The accused allegedly also got several unnamed state and federal lawmakers to write letters expressing their interest or commitment to helping Mugabe and Gono, arranged for Mugabe to meet with federal and state government officials in New York and attempted to get Gono and other Zimbabwean officials on a list of speakers at a forum hosted by a Californian member of the House of representatives.