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US senator pleads not guilty on bribery charges

A protester outside a New York court calls on US Senator Bob Menendez to resign over corruption charges September 27, 2023
— New York (AFP)

US Senator Bob Menendez pleaded not guilty Wednesday to corruption charges in a New York federal court, where he and his wife appeared on bribery and extortion allegations involving the Egyptian government.

Menendez and his wife Nadine Arslanian were greeted outside the Manhattan courthouse by at least one protester holding up a sign demanding in block letters that the 69-year-old from New Jersey "RESIGN."

So far, Menendez has defied calls from his own Democratic Party colleagues to leave office, though he "temporarily" stepped down as head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after the charges were unsealed Friday.

Prosecutors say the senator provided sensitive information to the Egyptian government in order to help an Egyptian-American businessman protect his monopoly.

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