Mueller report witness to be sentenced on child sex charges

FILE - This 1998 file frame from video provided by C-SPAN shows George Nader, then-president and editor of Middle East Insight. Nader, a businessman w...

FILE - This 1998 file frame from video provided by C-SPAN shows George Nader, then-president and editor of Middle East Insight. Nader, a businessman w...

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A Lebanese American businessman who was a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's report and who helped broker the release of American hostages is slated to receive at least a 10-year prison sentence on child sex charges.

George Nader was charged last June and pleaded guilty in January to bringing a 14-year-old boy from the Czech Republic to the U.S. 20 years ago to engage in sexual activity. He also acknowledged possessing child pornography.

Nader's name appears more than 100 times in the Mueller report. It details Nader’s efforts to serve as liaison between a Russian banker with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and members of President Donald Trump’s transition team.

The convictions carry a 10-year mandatory minimum. Prosecutors in federal court in Alexandria are not seeking a longer sentence than that at Friday's sentencing hearing, but the judge could still impose one.

In the 1990s, Nader served as a broker to facilitate the release of American hostages held in the Middle East.

Nader also served as an adviser to the United Arab Emirates, a close Saudi ally, and in 2017 wired $2.5 million to a top Trump fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, through a company in Canada, The Associated Press reported in 2018. The goal was to persuade the U.S. to take a hard line against Qatar, a longtime American ally but now an adversary of the UAE.

Nader was previously convicted in the Czech Republic of 10 cases of sexually abusing minors and sentenced to a one-year prison term in 2003.

Nader also pleaded guilty to a charge of transporting child pornography images in Virginia in 1991.

The current investigation of Nader began in 2018 when images depicting child pornography and bestiality were found on his phone after it was confiscated under a search warrant connected to the Mueller probe.

The images found in Nader’s phones at Dulles International Airport ended up not being the basis for January's child-pornography conviction. Instead, prosecutors relied on images and videos he received via email in 2012 that in some cases involved sadistic depictions of infants or toddlers, according to disclosures at Monday’s hearing.