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Dutch lawyer sentenced to 30 days in Mueller probe

A Dutch attorney who lied to federal agents investigating former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced Tuesday to 30 days in prison in the first punishment handed down in special counsel's Russian Federation investigation.

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

His attorney, William Schwartz, noted that Van Der Zwaan's wife, the daughter of Russian oligarch German Khan, is six months pregnant and has had some difficulty in London without her husband.

Alex van der Zwaan is a lawyer who has worked for the major worldwide firm Skadden Arps, where he was commissioned to work for pro-Russia clients in Ukraine and Russian Federation. Trump has also denied any collusion between himself and the Kremlin and has called Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt".

The judge added that she was disappointed he did not write a letter to the court on his own behalf to express remorse, and said it would not deter others if she merely let him "write a check and walk away".

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Jackson said she did not know if van der Zwaan was motivated to join Manafort and Gates for excitement, the money, or was engaged in a deeper "coverup", but that in lying "he put his own interests ahead of the interests of justice" in an investigation of national and global importance into whether the US democratic process was corrupted.

"Your honour, what I did was wrong".

"He is literally in limbo", Schwartz said.

Mr Mueller's indictment said Van der Zwaan "deleted and otherwise did not produce emails sought by the special counsel's office" and made a false statement about when he was last in contact with Mr Gates and "Person A", who has not been identified but is described as a long-term business associate of Mr Gates and Mr Manafort.

Gates pleaded guilty on February 23 to conspiring to defraud the United States and lying to Mueller's office, and is now cooperating with the probe.

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Gates and Manafort were indicted previous year on charges related to laundering tens of millions of dollars and failing to register as agents acting on behalf of a foreign government. According to court filings, Manafort and Gates' work included lobbying Congress about the Tymoshenko report, which had been commissioned by the Ukrainian government. In addition to authorizing the Russian Federation collusion investigation of Manafort, Rosenstein also specifically authorized Mueller to investigate any crimes related to payments Manafort received from the Ukrainian government during the tenure of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

"His career has been destroyed, he has been separated from his friends and family, and he faces the possibility of missing the birth of his first child".

Van der Zwaan knew that Person A was a former Russian intelligence officer because Gates told him so, according to prosecutors.

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. Manafort and Gates's job was to run cover for this clearly undemocratic prosecution.

Israeli PM Netanyahu taken to hospital: media reports
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu was briefly hospitalised on Tuesday with a high fever, Israeli media reported . Berkovich went with the Prime Minister to the hospital, where Netanyahu was treated by the medical staff.



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