Dutch lawyer first convicted in Trump-Russia investigation

Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan is the first person to be convicted in Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the United States presidential election. The court in Washington sentenced him to 30 days in prison and fined him 20 thousand dollars for lying to the FBI in this investigation, ANP reports.

Earlier this year the lawyer confessed to giving a false statement to the investigators. Van der Zwaan lied about his contacts with Rick Gates - a former employee of Donald Trump's campaign for the presidential election. Gates and former campaign manager Paul Manafort are accused of, among other things, money laundering, fraud, and working for a foreign power - Ukraine. 

While being questioned by the Mueller team in November, Van der Zwaan lied about when he spoke with Rick Gates and an unnamed third person, referred to as Person A. in the indictment against the Dutch lawyer. He is also accused of lying about a phone call with Gates and Person A. in September 2016, and of hiding or destroying incriminating emails. 

The only details the American prosecutors gave about Person A.'s identity is that the person was a long time business associate of Manafort and spoke to Van der Zwaan in Russian, the Washington Post reported in February. 

Alex van der Zwaan worked in the London branch of American law firm Skadden Arps. The law firm helped the Ukrainian government draw up a report in 2012 which largely defended the persecution and condemnation of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko for corruption. The European Union and United States ruled that the charges against the former prime minister were mainly politically motivated.

At that time, Manafort and Gates worked as advisor to the president of the Ukraine. The phone call between Van der Zwaan, Gates and Person A. was about this report, according to the Washington Post.

Skadden Arps dismissed Van der Zwaan last year and stated that the law firm is cooperating with authorities in this investigation. No reason was given for his dismissal. 

The 33-year-old Dutch lawyer is married to Eva Khan, the daughter of Ukrainian-Russian billionaire German Khan. According to the Skadden Arps website, he speaks Dutch and Russian.


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