US & Canada

Ex-US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad 'in money-laundering probe'

Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, at UN HQ in New York on 10 August 2008 Image copyright AP
Image caption Zalmay Khalilzad was the highest-ranked Muslim American to serve under President George W. Bush

A top ex-US envoy is being investigated for alleged money-laundering through his wife's bank account in Vienna, reports from Austria say.

Zalmay Khalilzad is accused of transferring $1.4 million (£0.9 million) to his wife's account, Profil magazine reports.

The money is said to be linked to activities involving companies in Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Khalilzad was US ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2007.

According to court documents from May 2013 obtained by Profil, Austrian authorities froze several Vienna-based accounts of his American-Austrian wife, the social scientist and author Cheryl Benard.

Ms Benard's lawyer, Holger Bielesz, says the US authorities have yet to produce any "concrete evidence" against his client.

A decision on Ms Bernard's appeal for her account to be unfrozen is expected soon.

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