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Lawyer sentenced to prison for lying to special counsel investigators

Lawyer sentenced to prison for lying to special counsel investigators

The Dutch national is the first person sentenced in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

It marked the first sentencing of anyone in Mr Mueller's ongoing probe.

Van der Zwaan, 33, previously worked in the London office of the global law firm Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom and is married to Eva Khan, the daughter of Russian billionaire German Khan, founder of the privately owned Alfa Bank. But Mueller's team has not previously identified Manafort, who was intimately involved in the campaign's operation for five key months, as a specific target of that investigation.

On Tuesday, Jackson said she recognized that van der Zwaan has been away from his family for months, during which his wife is going through a hard pregnancy.

According to court documents, Van der Zwaan "wilfully and knowingly" made false statements to investigators while answering questions about a report prepared in 2012 by his former law firm for the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice on the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko.

The judge said van der Zwaan, unlike some defendants who have come before her, possesses the financial and emotional resources to weather hard times.

"What I did was wrong".

"He is literally in limbo", Schwartz said.




None of the charges Manafort now faces alleges coordination with the Kremlin, and Manafort's attorneys had used that point to argue that Mueller had exceeded his authority by bringing charges against him accusing him of various financial crimes and acting as an unregistered foreign agent on behalf of Ukrainian interests.

Weissmann also said van der Zwaan's conduct demonstrated a "lack of morality", noting he also lied to his former employer and the US government.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and tax evasion.

At the time, Gates and Paul Manafort, another ex-Trump campaign aide, were employed by then Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was elected in a possibly rigged election and was supported by the Kremlin.

In extracting a guilty plea and co-operation pledge, Mueller's team has kept most of the details of what Van der Zwaan told them secret. A Deripaska spokeswoman has said the billionaire, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was not offered and did not receive briefings.

Prosecutors alleged that van der Zwaan falsely told federal investigators that he last communicated with Gates in mid-August 2016 through an innocuous text message.

"In or about September 2016, he spoke with both Gates and Person A regarding the Report, and surreptitiously recorded the call", the indictment says. Manafort and Gates's job was to run cover for this clearly undemocratic prosecution.

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