The headline in The Guardian (5/9) says it all: “Sheldon Adelson faces new scrutiny as documents challenge his testimony: Casino magnate’s trial remarks raised more questions than they answered about Las Vegas Sands’ connection with an alleged organized crime leader in China”.
The article says he “spent four combative days in a Las Vegas court this week defending his gambling empire from accusations of bribery and ties to organized crime. By the time the hearing was over, Adelson had argued with the judge, contradicted the evidence of his own executives and frustrated his lawyers by revealing more information than he was required to.”
The case is a wrongful dismissal suit brought by Steven Jacobs, former CEO of Adelson’s highly profitable casinos in the Chinese enclave of Macau. He claims he was sacked for trying to break links to organized crime groups, the triads, and for attempting to halt alleged influence peddling with Chinese officials. A Nevada gaming board official is monitoring the case from the public gallery.
Why is this important? Because Adelson is the biggest donor to the Republican party. He invariably requires beneficiaries of his largesse to agree to extreme right-wing policies and to give priority to Israel’s agenda over American foreign policy when they conflict. It has been estimated Adelson spent $150 million trying to beat Barack Obama in 2012. He also owns a free newspaper in Israel that is unwavering in its support of Benjamin Netanyahu and of militant Zionist political parties.
The Guardian, asserting a strong presence here with its new American edition, has written extensively about the Adelson case, but it has not been covered in the New York City media.
Some of the testimony related to Ng Lap Seng, described in court as Adelson’s “courier” to the Chinese Communist Party. A U.S. congressional investigation has linked Ng to illegal campaign contributions to the Democratic party in 1998.
The article says, “Ng’s hotel in Macau, the Fortuna, effectively operated as a brothel. Ng made several visits to the White House and was photographed there with then – President Bill Clinton.”