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Jurors in Menendez Trial Hear More Testimony on Free Flights

What to Know

  • Sen. Menendez is accused of accepting bribes from Salomon Melgen in exchange for helping his friend with business disputes and with the visa
  • Menendez and Melgen have contended in court filings that the gifts were evidence of the pair's longtime friendship, not a corrupt agreement
  • Both men face multiple fraud and bribery charges

Jurors in the corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy donor have heard more testimony about trips the New Jersey Democrat took at the donor's expense.

Two pilots testified Thursday that they flew Menendez on private planes paid for by the donor, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen.

Prosecutors say the flights were part of a pattern of bribery by Melgen to get Menendez to lobby government officials on behalf of his business interests.

They contend Menendez pressured the officials over Melgen's dispute with the government over Medicare billing and Melgen's contract to provide port security equipment for the Dominican Republic.

Menendez and Melgen have denied the allegations and say the gifts were between friends and weren't part of a bribery arrangement.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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