Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Delaying His Departure

When a man says he has no money, and then manages to pay off $3.5 million in debt, a judge would have to presume that said gentleman may be a liar. Under such a presumption, Mr. Tony Rezko was deposited in jail.

He had told Judge Amy St. Eve that he was skint. Not a flight risk, no Your Honor, as there's not a penny in the kitty to pay for the airfare back to Syria. That's Syria in the Middle East, where the U.S. does not have an extradition treaty and fugitives on the run can easily escape justice.

The money in question was wired from Lebanon to Mr. Rezko's attorneys. From there, the funds were distributed among the many friends of Rezko who had put up cash to bail the lad out of jail while he awaited trial. How thoughtful, the prosecutors noted, since that meant that those who had put up their homes as collateral would no longer stand to lose out should Mr. Rezko make for Syria.

Who was so generous to Mr. Rezko in his time of need? The prosecutors believe that Mr. Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi billionaire, funneled the money through one of his companies in Beirut. Mr. Auchi is not unknown to Mr. Rezko, either, having invested in a Chicago real estate investment scheme with Mr. Rezko.

There's the key to the wire transfer, Mr. Rezko's attorneys said. It's a loan, tied to that same sixty-two acre development. Yes, but Mr. Rezko said he didn't have access to overseas funds, you see, and the judge's memory is not so short as that.

An Iraqi billionaire comes to his aid, and you have to wonder if the war in Iraq is hurting or helping Mr. Auchi's business interests. The Clintons will take it a step further and suggest that Barack Obama's stand on the war is a product of a long association with Tony Rezko and Mr. Rezko's indebtedness to Mr. Auchi.

That's the point of bringing up Tony Rezko in the first place. After all, why go to all the bother if you can't stir up a great huge cauldron of steaming doubt amongst the voting public?

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