Posted: Feb 27, 2012 3:49 PM by Stephanie Ryan
Updated: Feb 27, 2012 3:49 PM
BATON ROUGE - Former St. Gabriel Mayor George Grace claimed in federal court today he visited with Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi while the man was designated as a state-sponsored terrorist.
Grace said he went to Africa to speak with Uganda's President about a water company Grace wanted to start. Before Grace went to Uganda, however, he told jurors he met with Gadhafi. Grace said he "advocated" on behalf of Gadhafi to Uganda's president, and even interviewed with Al Jazeera from his own office.
Grace is on trial for extortion, bribery, fraud and racketeering. Prosecutors say Grace used his official position as mayor to reap benefits, including thousands of dollars from undercover FBI operatives posing as corrupt businessmen.
Prosecutor Corey Amundson asked Grace today about the plane tickets to Africa. Jurors heard Grace on tape asking an undercover FBI operative to pay for a friend's ticket to Uganda, and even suggesting the operative could pay for Grace's ticket. Grace characterized the venture as a personal business trip.
News 2's Stephanie Ryan will have more details on the trial tonight on News 2 at 6.