September 04, 2008
MIAMI -- A jury has been selected in Miami federal court to hear the trial of a Venezuelan man accused of acting as a foreign agent to cover up a Latin American political cash scandal.
U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard decided Thursday to delay opening statements until Tuesday in the case of 40-year-old Franklin Duran.
Duran faces 10 years in prison if convicted of acting illegally as a Venezuelan agent in the U.S. Prosecutors say Duran and other Latin American men schemed to conceal the source of $800,000 in cash carried in a suitcase into Argentina last year.
The money was allegedly for the campaign of Argentina's new president, Cristina Fernández. Argentina and Venezuela have claimed the case is politically motivated, but U.S. officials deny that.