From: "Pedro Martori"
Subject: the Clinton pardons... Barak could face U.S. arrest in Marc Rich affair
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Date: Sat, 9 Nov 2002 10:19:19 -0500
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sat, 09 Nov 2002 10:24:42 EST
Organization: Bell Sympatico
Asunto: Barak could face U.S. arrest in Marc Rich affair
Fecha: Viernes, 08 de Noviembre de 2002 11:09 p.m.
Former prime minister Ehud Barak could be arrested the next time he sets
foot in the United States, the Israeli Embassy in Washington warned
The arrest threat stems from the fact that Barak has so far failed to =
to questions posed by federal prosecutors in New York who are =
the pardon that former president Bill Clinton granted Jewish financier =
But a senior government official dismissed the threat as "not serious,"
saying: "The likelihood of Barak being arrested in the U.S. is zilch - =
the same as the likelihood of Israel arresting a former American =
who visited here."
Clinton pardoned Rich, who had been living in Switzerland for the =
17 years to avoid prosecution on charges of massive tax evasion and =
oil deals with Iran, just before he left office in early 2001. It later
emerged that several prominent people - including not only Barak, but =
Rich's ex-wife, Denise, who is a major contributor to the Democratic =
and even funded Clinton's presidential library - had urged Clinton to =
the pardon. Federal prosecutors therefore opened an investigation to
determine whether the pardon had involved any criminal aspects, such as
bribery, and in this context, they asked permission to interrogate Barak
about his involvement in the affair.
A deal was reached with the Israeli authorities whereby the prosecutors
would send Barak a list of questions and he would reply in writing by
October 27. However, he has not yet done so. The New York prosecutors =
angered by this failure, and their anger increased when they discovered =
Barak had actually been in the U.S. at about that time, attending, among
other things, a joint fundraiser with Clinton for Petah Tikva's =
Hospital. They therefore sent an angry letter to the Israeli embassy,
warning that if the replies were not forthcoming, Barak could be =
the next time he lands in America.
Barak's office responded that the former premier "intends to reply to =
the questions, as agreed, just as he replied to all the questions posed =
the congressional panel [that investigated the pardon]."
Rich has been a generous donor to Israeli cultural and educational
institutions for years, and at one point he even accepted Israeli
citizenship. In his letter to Clinton, Barak also said that Rich had
assisted Mossad operations overseas.