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April 14, 2010

Pascrell doesn't buy Prokhorov defense, but evidence regarding sanctions-busting is unclear (and one main holding may get a bye)

Atlantic Yards Report

There's nothing more definitive regarding whether a firm tied to prospective Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has participated in sanctions-busting in Zimbabwe.

Rep. Bill Pascrell, who initiated the controversy, told The Record that he wouldn't take the denials at face value.

Still, Pascrell didn't offer any specific new information.

And while sanctions expert Usha Haley was more certain, she wasn't quoted by the Village Voice as giving specifics: "They have been working with Zimbabwe's officials that have been banned by the U.S. government — there's no doubt about that."


Additional coverage...

Field of Schemes, Prokhorov's Zimbabwe ties: Violation or loophole?

The big question here is what the U.S. Treasury Department, which has jurisdiction over sanctions law, will do, and they ain't talking. Though they do have a really impressive list of things they can do to sanctions violators, if they want.

The Star-Ledger, Good news for the NJ Nets: The season is almost over

New Jersey congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. has not backed down from his charge that Mikhail Prokhorov’s relationship with Zimbabwe could be illegal, and reiterated his call for the Treasury Department to investigate whether U.S. laws were broken.

ProBasketballTalk [NBCSports.com], NBA backs Prokhorov in deal with Zimbabwe

This was never about human rights. This was never about Zimbabwe. This was about New Jersey and political aspirations.

In this case, [Congressman Bill] Pascrell is up for election this fall -- one he will likely win, he's held this seat for 14 years already. But this futile gesture was designed to get his name in the headlines fighting for New Jersey against big, bad New York and the Russian guy taking their team away. Pascrell knew this would go nowhere. However, all he had to do was write a letter and a press release and he gets his name in the paper, shows he cares about New Jersey. The rights of the oppressed in Zimbabwe have nothing to do with this. It's about an American election.

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, Hoops or Human Rights? Congressman Pascrell Wants Some Answers

The question is will Treasury drive to the basket? Will any elected official in New York take it to the hoop (it being a hard look at possible violations of bipartisanly created US sanctions). The question, actually, is quite simple. What's it going to be: human rights, or basketball?

Posted by eric at April 14, 2010 10:40 AM