Africa

US man pleads guilty for trying to influence Zim sanctions case

Sapa-AP

Prince Asiel Ben Israel faces a five-year prison sentences for trying to persuade US lawmakers to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe's government.

US political activist, Prince Ben Asiel Israel, has pleaded guilty to failing to register as an agent of Zimbabwean Presindet Robert Mugabe. (Supplied)

A 72-year-old man has pleaded guilty to illegally lobbying lawmakers in the United States to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe's president and other members of his regime for a promise of $3.4-million.

Prince Asiel Ben Israel entered his guilty plea Friday in a federal court in Chicago.

Prosecutors say he sought to persuade unnamed lawmakers to overturn sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and others in the southern African nation. The US imposed the sanctions in 2003 for alleged democratic violations.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports Ben Israel pleaded guilty to failing to register as an agent of Mugabe.

He faces a maximum five-year prison sentence. But under terms of his plea agreement, he can argue for probation at sentencing later this year.

A co-defendant, C. Gregory Turner, has maintained he did nothing illegal. –Sapa

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