Man pleads not guilty in Saudi ambassador assassination plot
NEW YORK (KABC) -- The man charged in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States pleaded not guilty Monday in a New York courtroom.
Manssor Arbabsiar, 56, is facing a five-count indictment. He's accused of conspiring to hire hit men from a Mexican drug cartel to kill the ambassador at a restaurant in Washington.
U.S. officials have indicated that agents of the Iranian government may have been involved in the plot, a charge Iranian authorities call "baseless."
Arbabsiar was arrested Sept. 29 at a New York airport on charges that carry a potential life sentence. He was held without bail.
U.S. authorities say they secretly recorded conversations between Arbabsiar and an informant with the Drug Enforcement Administration. They said Arbabsiar offered $1.5 million for the death of the ambassador.
Authorities said Arbabsiar eventually made a $100,000 down payment wired from an overseas account for a plot that would kill the ambassador at his favorite restaurant.
No trial date has been set. Arbabsiar's next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 21.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
arrest, terrorism, washington d.c., national news
- Ex-LA deputy alleges corruption in department
- Winkler removed from Saugus school board
- Video released in attack of transgender woman
- Prostitution bust at OC hotel - exclusive
- MTA bus drivers claim illness from pesticide
- Michael Hastings, BuzzFeed reporter, dies
- Ex-USC professor on FBI wanted list arrested
- 1,500 evacuated in wildfire near Yosemite
- NSA foiled 50+ terrorist plots - director
- abcnews: NFL star's home searched after killing
- Chrysler agrees to Jeep recall over fire risk
- Heat beat Spurs 103-100, force Game 7
- Michael Jackson's personal chef testifies
- OTRC: Lil Wayne talks on American flag controversy