AKRON -- There have been family members and media, as well as the curious and outraged, who have come to watch the public corruption trial of former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora and his co-defendant Michael Gabor the past six weeks.
On Friday, there were four Libyan cultural exchange delegates with the U.S. State Department who observed the Jimmy Dimora trial. They sat in the courtroom and were able to see first-hand how public corruption trials are handled in the U.S.
Accompanied at all times by Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal David Kasilones, the delegation also had a chance to visit the designated media room and the public viewing room elsewhere in the courthouse.
The delegates were accompanied by two interpreters from the U.S. State Department and a guide from the Cleveland Council on World Affairs.
The CCWA, located on Huron Road in downtown Cleveland, is hosting the delgation as part of the program Civil Society and NGO (non-government) Management.
All four in the Libyan delegation hold current positions which enable them to implement new ideas into their government structure.
One is a human resource manager at a large company, another is a sales manager for a manufacturing company. The other two delegates were women. One woman helped establish a national support group and the other woman is a leader in organization that gives a voice to Libyan women.
None of them are being identified by name or company for their own protection.
Their three-week visit took them first to Washington, D.C., then Seattle, now Cleveland, and on to Atlanta.
CCWA International Visitors Program's Christina Thomas said the program is designed to cater to their interests and U.S. foreign policy goals.
While in the U.S., International Visitors typically visit Washington, D.C. and three additional towns or cities that highlight the tremendous diversity of the U.S.
They attend professional appointments with their American counterparts, learn about the U.S. system of government at the national, state and local levels, visit American schools, and experience American culture and social life.
That is the reason why they chose to come to the Cleveland-area trial, as corruption has played a part in their country's history.
It was only four months ago almost to the day that deposed Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, 69, was pulled out alive from a drain under a motorway in Sirte, his hometown, where he had been hiding with a small group of bodyguards after fleeing rebel forces.
He was shot and killed soon afterwards.
Founded in 1940, more than 5,000 International Visitors come to the United States through CCWA from all over the world each year.