The sanctions busting case in which a Chicago man C Gregory Turner is accused of lobbying for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe for which he and his partner Prince Asiel Ben Israel were to make US$3.4 million was just verbal masturbation in which the two were going to make cash from b.s.
This emerged yesterday at the trial of Turner, which began on Monday and is expected to last two weeks.
Turner has pleaded not guilty claiming that he did not believe he was doing anything wrong after seeing United States Vice-President, Joseph Biden, then a senator, shaking hands with then Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono, who was a designated person.
Ben Israel pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven months in jail.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Turner boasted to an associate in a phone call recorded secretly by the United States government that he had “made cash on b.s.”.
He spelt out b.s.
The affidavit filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, however said a Zimbabwean senator, Monica Mutsvangwa, who signed the Consulting Agreement with Ben Israel only wired US$89 970 to Ben Israel but this was intercepted by his bank after he failed to give a satisfactory explanation of what the money was for.
Turner was also heard as saying in one of the wiretaps: “At the end of the day, it was just verbal masturbation, is really what it boils down to.”
The State is arguing that Turner was just an opportunist who even forged the signatures of Illinois legislators in letters of support to President Robert Mugabe.
Two legislators have now been identified in court as Senator Donne Trotter and Representative Ken Dunkin.
Trotter is expected to be a key State witness while Dunkin is not expected to testify.