Prosecutors say senator Bob menendez is good for his friend’s lavish lifestyle.
The justice department attorney Peter Koski at a federal courthouse in Newark, began his opening debate, seemingly harmless story: “a few years ago, a man sent an E-mail, requires long weekend hotel room in Paris.”
But that is not a harmless question, at least in the eyes of prosecutors.
The sender of the email was senator Bob menendez, democrat of New Jersey. The recipient was a friend of his, a wealthy Florida ophthalmologist, Salomon Melgen, who used American express’s points to pay for luxury accommodations on the street view below.
Prosecutors on Wednesday in the Democratic Party corruption trial opening remarks, said in Paris hotel room is just one example of long-term bribery plan between two people, there they are the official government interests trading luxury travel and gifts.
Top “Menendez has for years been in the federal government for Dr Melgen scream,” Koski said, “because Melgen Menendez won a similar to the travel brochure way of life, for the rich and famous people to read.”
But beatriz menendez attorney bello o el retort that gifts in the 25 years of friendship between two people is common, he says this kind of gift from political relations close personal relationship. “The two men call each other brothers,” Lowell said of menendez and melgen, who often traveled with their families.
Mr. Lowell said prosecutors focused on cases between 2006 and 2013, only when gifts were offered during the period of the complaint. “The problem is that they’re missing a lot,” he said, “a lot of the friendships of men in the last 10 and a half years.”
During that time, melgen flew in his private jet to get menendez around, shuttling back and forth from New Jersey to melgen’s home in the Dominican republic. (Koski said Menendez was a frequent passenger on Melgen’s private jet. “one pilot thought it was necessary to store the kitchen with his favorite bottled water brand.” The ophthalmologist also paid Menendez to travel to Paris and Punta Cana for a holiday in the Dominican republic and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations to benefit Menendez.
, prosecutors said beatriz menendez trying to assist MEL root solve the $8.9 million debt he owed the health care, to provide value for MEL root’s girlfriend, the safety of students and travel visa, and develop port contract dispute.
“Friends can commit crimes together,” Koski says. “Friends can bribe each other.”
The facts of the case are largely non-controversial – melgen offers free flights; Menendez took part in the trip. The question is whether there is any illegal activity, such as exchanging gifts for political gain.
Prosecutors acknowledged that the two never blame them in writing of bribery plan, pay close attention to the time of the case, but it requires the jurors and points out that beatriz menendez MEL root is often the advantages of products, or vice versa.
But Lowell predicted that the government would provide “not a waste” evidence to show a clear deal between the two men.
Beatriz menendez, he added, never pass laws to enrich MEL root, beatriz menendez all behavior is reasonable, and senator represents three party members in the administrative department for part of the concern. “This is the work of congress.”