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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Monday, September 25, 2017

International News


Business News


In Newark, NJ the 12 members of the jury have been selected to decide the fate of Democratic Senator Robert (Bob) Menendez in his corruption trial. Last Wednesday, attorneys selected a children’s librarian, a mail carrier and a utility worker among the racially mixed jury. The members of the jury, as well as four alternates, are half male and half female. The pool originally numbered seven hundred potential candidates when the questionnaires were mailed out two months ago.  

Opening statements for the trial will begin on September 6th, and the case is expected to be ongoing for about two months. Menendez and a wealthy campaign donor are charged with a bribery scheme involving gifts, vacations and donations in return for political favors. Menendez, 63, is the senior Senator from NJ, having served at the post since 2006. He is one of four Latinos in Senate. Previously he served as NJ member of House of Representatives, on the General Assembly, and before that as mayor of Union City. The donor, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, 62, is on trial with Menendez. Melgen has already been separately convicted on multiple counts of Medicare fraud and may face maximum penalties and a lengthy prison sentence this fall. The defendants both attended two days of jury selection.

As reported by VIN news, the indictment alleges that the Senator interceded to help Melgen in a Medicare dispute with the government involving Melgen’s Palm Beach ophthalmology business; to help Melgen get visas for three foreign girlfriends; and in a dispute over a port security contract Melgen sought in his home country, the Dominican Republic. According to prosecutors, Melgen gifted Menendez with trips on his private plane and lavish vacations to Paris and the Dominican Republic.

Menendez’s defense team has been adamant in arguing that the Senator was only fulfilling his legislative duties during his interception with the Office of Health and Human Services and government officials at the State Department. Further, they contend that his actions don’t fit the narrowed definition of “official acts”, which under a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year threw out the bribery conviction of former Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia.

By:  Ellen Cans