World

Austrian court lifts bank account freeze for ex-US diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad

Austrian court officials say that a freeze on bank deposits held by former top U.S. diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad and his wife has been lifted because of insufficient evidence of any wrongdoing.

Reinhard Hinger of Vienna's Upper Court said Thursday that the court ruled in favor of an appeal against an order issued by Austrian state prosecutors that froze the accounts.

The prosecutors acted after being informed by the U.S. Department of Justice that Khalilzad was under investigation for suspected money laundering related to business activities in Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.

Defense lawyers, who filed the appeal, say the court's decision is a vindication of Khalilzad and his wife, Cheryl Bernard.

Khalilzad served as a high-profile ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the U.N. under President George W. Bush