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Gazeta SOT/Washington Post warned: Former FBI counterintelligence chief McGonigal will plead guilty today
Written by SOT.COM.AL 22 Shtator 2023
What Gazeta Sot announced today has been confirmed by the Washington Post, where McGonigal is expected to plead guilty today.
Charles McGonigal, the former FBI counterintelligence chief in New York who pleaded guilty last month to violating US sanctions and laundering funds for a Russian billionaire he once investigated, will plead guilty this Friday.
A hearing for Charles F. McGonigal, 55, was set for 2 p.m. (US time) before U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington after plea talks with federal prosecutors.
The former head of the FBI is accused of hiding secret payments he received from Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, even though the latter was declared non-grata.
McGonigal faced two federal counts of falsifying records or documents, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and seven counts of concealing material facts or making false statements, which each carry up to five years in prison. He could plead guilty to one of the lesser charges.
“As special agent in charge of the FBI's counterintelligence division in New York from 2016 to 2018, McGonigal oversaw investigations of Russian oligarchs, including Oleg Deripaska, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. McGonigal retired from the FBI in September 2018. He was indicted by federal authorities in January in two separate cases that shocked the US counterintelligence community, exposing the vulnerability to corruption of those who hold the nation's sensitive government secrets . the prestigious American Washington Post.
McGonigal pleaded guilty last month in Manhattan to accepting $17,500 for undercover work over several months in 2021 on behalf of Deripaska to help get the billionaire's name removed from the U.S. sanctions list, as well as found evidence against a rival Russian oligarch.
The 22-year FBI veteran admitted to receiving what he knew were illegal payments from a Cyprus bank filtered through a New Jersey company to work as a consultant and investigator. Deripaska was banned from doing business with US entities after Russia's annexation of Crimea.
“Një aktakuzë e dytë, e ngritur në Uashington, akuzoi McGonigal për fshehjen e pagesave prej 225,000 dollarësh që ai dyshohet se kishte marrë nga “Personi A”, i përshkruar në dokumentet e akuzës si një burrë i Nju Xhersit i punësuar dekada më parë nga një agjenci e inteligjencës shqiptare, dhe që The Post ka raportuar se është Agron Neza. Aktakuza akuzon gjithashtu McGonigal se ka vepruar për të çuar përpara interesat e personit A që të paktën nga gushti 2017 dhe ka vazhduar pas daljes në pension të tij nga FBI, ndërkohë që nuk ka zbuluar marrëdhënien, si dhe një “marrëdhënie të vazhdueshme me kryeministrin e Shqipërisë”, Edi Rama”, shkruan Washington Post.
Sipas aktakuzës, McGonigal mori 225,000 dollarë në para nga personi A në fund të vitit 2017.
Muaj më vonë, FBI me nxitjen e McGonigal hapi një hetim ndaj një lobisti amerikan për partinë kryesore politike opozitare të Ramës në Shqipëri, një hetim që përdorte personin A si burim informacioni, pretenduan prokurorët, vijon media amerikane.
Si një nga zyrtarët më të lartë të FBI-së që është akuzuar ndonjëherë për një krim, McGonigal udhëhoqi hetime të mëdha të inteligjencës, duke përfshirë publikimin e kabllogrameve të klasifikuara të Departamentit të Shtetit në vitin 2010 në WikiLeaks dhe kërkimin e një spiuni të dyshuar për Kinën brenda CIA-s. Ai kishte akses në një sasi të jashtëzakonshme informacioni të ndjeshëm, duke përfshirë hetimet e spiunëve të huaj ose shtetasve amerikanë të dyshuar se punonin në emër të qeverive të huaja, dhe të huajve që FBI dhe CIA po rekrutonin për të spiunuar për Shtetet e Bashkuara.
At his plea hearing in New York, McGonigal said: "I understand the consequences of my actions and I deeply regret it." Facing sentencing in that case on December 14, McGonigal said: "I stand before you in this court to take full responsibility as my actions were never intended to harm the United States, the FBI, the family and friends of me".