Trump ally Barrack pleads not guilty in UAE case

Billionaire private equity investor Thomas Barrack - a close ally of former President Donald Trump - pleaded not guilty to charges of illegal lobbying for the United Arab Emirates on Monday, putting the case on course for a possible trial.

On his way into federal court in Brooklyn, New York, the 74-year-old was followed closely by a man hoisting a sign with the word "Traitor" on it, the same treatment given to Paul Manafort and Roger Stone - two other Trump allies - at their arraignments for other, unrelated charges.

Barrack, who chaired Trump's inaugural fund and was a frequent guest at the White House, is charged with secretly lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of the UAE between 2016 and 2018.

The seven-count indictment accuses Barrack, a former employee of his and an Emirati businessman of failing to register as lobbyists and using their influence to advance the UAE's foreign policy goals in the United States.

Barrack also pleaded not guilty to repeatedly lying to the FBI about his dealings with the Middle Eastern country.

On Friday, a judge in Los Angeles - where Barrack was arrested last week - signed off on a deal that allowed him to be released from custody while he awaits trial.

Under the agreement reached with prosecutors, Barrack will wear an ankle bracelet that tracks his location, surrender his passport, submit to a curfew and will put up a $250 million bond, secured by $5 million in cash.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting