Menendez expects to be 'vindicated' in retrial

22 Enero, 2018, 01:12 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez leaves the federal courthouse in Newark N.J. Monday Nov. 13 2017

The Justice Department signaled its intention in a notice filed Friday in U.S. District Court, two months after the first trial of Menendez and Melgen ended in a mistrial.

U.S. District Judge William Walls declared the mistrial on November 16, 2017, after more than six full days of deliberations that had to be re-started midway through when a juror was replaced.

Justice Department prosecutors had accused Menendez and Melgen, a wealthy Florida ophthalmologist, of engaging in a bribery scheme that lasted seven years, trading gifts and trips for government favors. The senator's last trial ended in a mistrial in November.

Menendez's lawyers also contended also that the government failed to establish a direct connection between Melgen's gifts and specific actions taken by the senator.

"Absent a significant collapse of a key witness at trial, or a material change in the strength of the evidence, the Department of Justice typically retries cases that end in a hung jury", he said. The filing to the judge seeks a retrial "at the earliest possible date".

Earlier Friday, the government announced it will retry Menendez and Salomon Melgen on multiple bribery and fraud charges. Bob Menendez (D - N.J.) for corruption.

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"Sen. Menendez and Dr. Melgen were indicted in the District of New Jersey on charges that included conspiracy, bribery and honest services fraud", the department said.

Menendez is up for re-election in November.

In exchange, prosecutors charged, the New Jersey Democrat helped Melgen's foreign mistresses secure visas, intervened in a multimillion-dollar Medicare dispute and pressured US officials to safeguard a lucrative port security contract in the Dominican Republic. Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year sentence for the 63-year-old eye doctor, though Melgen is seeking leniency.

The Menendez case was the first major federal bribery trial since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 threw out the conviction of Republican former Gov.

"I support Sen. Menendez, and I believe he deserves the benefit that is the basis of our entire justice system: We are all innocent until proven otherwise", Murphy said in a statement.

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