WASHINGTON: The hearing of a misdemeanour case against former US ambassador Richard G. Olson, which was scheduled on Tuesday, has been postponed, court sources said.
The Washington Post reported this week that Olson’s sentencing was scheduled for Tuesday, and he could face up to six months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. His lawyers, however, argued that his long and honourable career should exempt him from imprisonment.
The US federal court, which was scheduled to sentence Olson on Tuesday, has not announced a new date.
In 2019, Olson pleaded guilty to two misdemeanours, failing to disclose an $18,000 first-class ticket he received for a job interview and illegally lobbying on behalf of Qatar after his retirement.
While he was not charged for accepting a diamond gift for the mother of his former wife Deborah Jones, and for arranging tuition fees for his current spouse, journalist Muna Habib, the US Justice Department argued that these episodes demonstrated a pattern of unethical behaviour. Olson, who retired from the State Department in 2016, had an illustrious 34-year career, including postings as the US ambassador to Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, as well as assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2023