Prosecution gears up for week 2 of Sen. Bob Menendez’s bribery trial

Jurors already heard opening arguments and testimony from an FBI agent who led the search of Menendez's home in 2022, where gold bars and thousands of dollars in cash were allegedly found.

News 12 Staff

May 19, 2024, 10:55 PM

Updated 25 days ago

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Jurors at the bribery trial of Sen. Bob Menendez will hear more from prosecutors on Monday as the case enters its second week.
They already heard opening arguments and testimony from an FBI agent who led the search of Menendez's home in 2022, where gold bars and thousands of dollars in cash were allegedly found.
Jurors will also hear more testimony from prosecution witness James Bret Tate, a U.S. diplomat who had been working in Egypt. His job was to advance U.S. agriculture.
Tate testified on Friday that once Wael Hana gained a monopoly on the halal meat certification for Egypt, prices for certification went up from $400 to $5,000. Prosecutors claim Menendez received bribes to help Hana get that monopoly.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Pomerantz Laura Pomerantz said the Egyptian government "dropped a lucrative monopoly into Hana's lap."
"Hana didn't actually have any experience in this business. Zero,” she said. “But you'll learn that what he did have were connections in the Egyptian government and a U.S. senator in his pocket promising military aid."
Hana's attorneys have denied he received help from Menendez or paid bribes.
His attorney, Lawrence Lustberg, stated in opening arguments that "Mr. Hana continues to keep these halal contracts, not because of connections with Mr. Menendez, but based on the merits."
Attorneys for Hana have stated he has been friends with Nadine Menendez for 15-years, that they had a brother-sister type relationship and that they often exchanged gifts.
Sen. Menendez has denied taking bribes.
Nadine Menendez will also be tried on charges related to this case. Her trial will take place in summer as it was revealed she is being treated for breast cancer.


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