Author Topic: George Mitchells ties to Dubai kidmapping ring  (Read 1007 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mord

  • Global Moderator
  • Platinum JTF Member
  • *
  • Posts: 25853
George Mitchells ties to Dubai kidmapping ring
« on: January 28, 2009, 08:14:13 AM »
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aa7hdtvtfYxc&refer=worldwide   



Mitchell’s Firm Worked for Dubai Ruler in Jockey Case (Update1)
Email | Print | A A A

By Timothy J. Burger

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- George Mitchell, President Barack Obama’s special Middle East troubleshooter, was chairman of a law firm that was paid about $8 million representing Dubai’s ruler in connection with a child-trafficking lawsuit.

The DLA Piper law firm did legal and lobbying work on the case, which alleged that Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al- Maktoum and another official used children kidnapped from other countries to ride as jockeys in camel races. The firm lobbied federal agencies, members of the U.S. House and about two dozen Senate offices, including those of Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2006 and 2007, according to Justice Department foreign-agent disclosures.

Mitchell, 75, who isn’t a registered lobbyist, didn’t lobby either on this issue or for Dubai generally. DLA Piper partner Bill Minor said in an e-mail that Mitchell, a former Democratic senator from Maine, mainly focused on growth and management at the firm of almost 4,000 attorneys and 65 offices worldwide, and high-profile projects such as an investigation of steroid use in Major League Baseball.

Mitchell’s firm had extensive lobbying clients and offices in the Middle East ranging from the leader of Dubai to a Kuwait construction firm contracting in Iraq. The firm also has offices in Egypt, Oman, Qatar and Abu Dhabi and has an affiliation with a law firm in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Mitchell traveled to Dubai and spoke to the press there about the issue.

Suit Thrown Out

The camel-jockey suit was thrown out after the U.S. Justice Department notified a Miami federal judge that it planned to intervene and argue that al-Maktoum was immune from the suit as a foreign leader.

“That he was such a key figure in the firm himself certainly gives the appearance that probably any of the clients that solicited help from the firm may have had a business relationship with him as well,” said Craig Holman, who lobbies for tougher governmental ethics rules for Public Citizen, a Washington-based advocacy group.

In a Jan. 24 telephone interview, Mitchell said he “was generally aware of the case but I had no involvement in it.”

“I visited Dubai. I did not discuss the case with the Sheikh. I had nothing to do with bringing it in,” Mitchell said. “I was merely chairman when it occurred.”

Mitchell’s name heads a list on DLA Piper’s Web site of a team advising clients “on opportunities and risks associated with doing business in Iraq and the Middle East generally.” In addition to legal work, the Web site says DLA Piper has “experience working with relevant decision makers in the United States and the region.”

Dubai Billing

Altogether, DLA Piper billed Dubai-related entities about $9.5 million on this and other issues while Mitchell was chairman from 2005 through the end of 2008.

Other lobbying clients located or primarily interested in the Middle East -- and one focused on Iran -- paid DLA Piper an additional $2.29 million.

Mitchell, who is traveling in the Middle East this week, may need a waiver from Obama’s new policy on ethics and lobbying, which says government officials must wait two years before working on matters “directly and substantially” related to pre-government employers or clients even if they weren’t registered lobbyists, said Stefan Passantino, head of the Washington-based political law group for McKenna Long & Aldridge.

‘Perception Dynamic’

“It is a perception dynamic that has to be managed very carefully,” said Passantino, who helped represent former House Speaker Newt Gingrich during a congressional ethics case.

Asked if he’s going to have to recuse himself from anything at the State Department, Mitchell said, “I haven’t made any judgment on that.”

“I have to wait and see,” Mitchell said. “I will be resigning from the firm and terminating all private business activities.”

White House spokesman Bill Burton referred questions to the State Department, where spokesman Gordon Duguid declined comment and referred questions to Mitchell’s office. A voicemail left at the U.A.E. embassy in Washington wasn’t returned. Please read on with above link
Thy destroyers and they that make thee waste shall go forth of thee.  Isaiah 49:17

 
Shot at 2010-01-03