US sanctions buster’s lawyer says he wants Mugabe to testify


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The lawyer for an alleged United States sanctions buster, C. Gregory Turner, who is accused of illegally lobbying for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe, says he would like President Robert Mugabe to testify for his client when he visits the United Nations on 23-24 September.

Michael Leonard would like to record Mugabe’s testimony on video to present it to court in Chicago where Turner, 71, is appearing. He says Mugabe’s testimony is crucial and he is central to the allegations against Turner.

“One of the primary bases for the government’s prosecution of Mr. Turner in this case is its allegation that Mr. Turner specifically acted for and at the direction of Mr. Mugabe,” Leonard said in his filing with the court according to the Chicago Tribune. “…If the government is truly interested in the pursuit of justice, it should welcome Mr. Mugabe’s videotaped testimony.”

Turner and co-defendant Prince Asiel Ben Israel are said to have entered into a consulting deal with the Zimbabwe officials to be paid $3.4 million for their efforts.  Ben Israel, 72, pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced to 7 months in prison.

Turner’s trial is scheduled to begin on 29 September.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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