MANHATTAN (CN) – A five-count federal grand jury indictment accuses Manssor Arbabsiar and Golam Shakuri of conspiring to murder the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, in the United States. Shakuri is still at large.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the charges “mirror those that were alleged in the criminal Complaint that was filed on October 11.”
The indictment claims that Arbabsiar “caused to be wired approximately $100,000 into the United States, as partial consideration for the murder of the Ambassador to the United States of Saudi Arabia.”
It alleges that on Aug. 1 Arbabsiar “caused an overseas wire transfer of approximately $49,960 to be sent by a foreign entity from a bank located in a foreign country to an undercover bank account (the ‘UC Bank Account’) maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Before reaching the UC Bank Account, the funds were transferred through a bank in Manhattan, New York.”
It claims Arbabsiar did the same thing, for the same amount of money, on Aug. 9.
Allegations that the “foreign entity” is Iran, and that Iran plotted the murder, set off a worldwide diplomatic uproar.
Arbabsiar has been portrayed, by The New York Times and others, as a somewhat hapless fellow. He allegedly was to use some of the money to pay a Mexican drug cartel hit man to murder the ambassador in a public place, whether others were present or not.
A date for Arbabsiar’s arraignment has not yet been set.