Bob Menendez: Co-defendant in US senator's Egypt bribery case pleads guilty

Influential politician accused of acting as unregistered foreign agent for Cairo

US Senator Bob Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, leave federal court in New York in September. AP
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A co-defendant in US Senator Bob Menendez's Egypt bribery case on Friday pleaded guilty in a New York Federal court.

New Jersey businessman Jose Uribe pleaded guilty to seven counts including conspiracy to commit bribery, honest services fraud and obstruction of justice. He has also agreed to co-operate with prosecutors in the case against Mr Menendez.

Uribe was accused of providing Mr Menendez and his wife with a Mercedes-Benz convertible in exchange for the US senator trying to disrupt a criminal investigation the businessman was facing.

Two other co-defendants in the case – Wael Hana and Fred Daibes – have pleaded not guilty. Mr Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, have also pleaded not guilty.

The couple were charged in September with engaging “in a corrupt relationship” with three New Jersey associates, including Egyptian-American Mr Hana.

In a separate court filing a month later, Mr Menendez was also charged with acting as an unregistered agent of Egypt.

Mr Hana and Ms Menendez have also been accused of working with Mr Menendez to aid the Egyptian government between January 2018 and June 2022.

In addition to allegedly accepting the Mercedes-Benz convertible, Mr Menendez is also accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars, including in gold bars.

Mr Menendez announced in October that he would be stepping down from the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which can withhold sending funds to foreign militaries.

He has so far defied calls to resign as US senator.

Updated: March 01, 2024, 8:08 PM