Washington, D.C. (WiredPRNews.com) — In the very first week of October 1999, Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) had the Pakistan government in a very delicate position.
Pakistanis had been desperate for the removal of their powerful military as well as economic sanctions which were imposed after the conduction of nuclear tests in 1998. Millions of dollars were at stake in the trade.
Stevens was the conference committee’s chairman who was considering allowing the change. As per sources at Capitol Hill, he had initially made it very clear that he wanted Pakistan to resolve the multi-million dollar dispute that was ongoing with VECO, the Alaskan construction and engineering company that is owned by one of Stevens’ very close friends, Bill Allen.
Essentially, it is VECO which is at the core of Stevens’s indictment handed down on Tuesday.The prosecutors outlined hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial favors that VECO allegedly granted to Stevens. However, it was not clear what Stevens had done for VECO, though this indictment mentions, without any elaboration, that VECO asked Stevens for help regarding projects in Russia and Pakistan aside from other favors.
According to earlier interaction with VECO that was reported by The Times in June of 2003, the provision that gave the White House permanent authority to lift the sanctions against Pakistan appeared to be sailing through the party’s congress. It is attached to the appropriations of the Defense Department which was moving via the conference committee of Stevens. It ran into big trouble with Stevens who was also the chairman of Senate Appropriations Committee and the Defense Department Appropriations sub committee.
Wired News Reporter