Donald Trump’s Treasury department eased US sanctions on Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler five days before the former president left office, quietly issuing a licence that temporarily lifts restrictions on the mining tycoon for alleged corruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The decision followed an appeal by lobbyists working for Mr Gertler, including the lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who had close ties to Mr Trump.
Mr Gertler was sanctioned by the Trump administration in December 2017 under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which froze any US assets he held and prohibited him from dealing in US dollars or with any American entity.
Under the new licence — dated January 15 — those restrictions have been eased until the end of January 2022, authorising US institutions to lift asset freezes and transact with Mr Gertler and dozens of his sanctioned entities for at least the next 12 months.
The reversal was met with immediate criticism from anti-corruption groups who called on the administration of President Joe Biden to reverse the decision.
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