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Defeated Tunisian presidential candidate paid ex-Israeli intelligence official $250,000

Lobbyist Ari Ben-Menashe reported being paid $250,000 by Nabil Karoui's wife and a friend.
Salwa Karoui, wife of detained Tunisian media mogul and presidential candidate Nabil Karoui, speaks during an election campaign rally in Tunis, Tunisia, September 13, 2019. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi - RC1981714B10

Canada-based lobbyist and ex-Mossad agent Ari Ben-Menashe reports being paid $250,000 to advocate for defeated Tunisian presidential candidate Nabil Karoui — even though Karoui has denied ever hiring him.

Karoui’s $1 million contract with Ben-Menashe’s Dickens & Madson upended the Tunisian presidential race after Al-Monitor first reported on the firm’s lobbying filing with the US Department of Justice in October. Now new filings indicate that Ben-Menashe was paid $250,000 the month before via two intermediaries: Karoui’s wife, Salwa Smaoui, and Salim Hamdadou, whom Ben-Menashe identified as a friend of Karoui’s.

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