Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Reza Zarrab accused of raping cellmate in Manhattan prison

Turkey detains 17 for ‘providing US with information’ for Zarrab case Turkey detains 17 for ‘providing US with information’ for Zarrab case by Turkey Purge | Dec 7 2017 | Today in Crackdown
Melinda Barton | 08 December, 2017, 02:38

Reza Zarrab, who is cooperating with prosecutors, testified that he got the money through a Turkish attorney whom he did not identify.

Jaber's suit says Zarrab, a wealthy gold trader, first befriended him in Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center based on their shared Shia Muslim faith.

A Turkish-Iranian gold trader testified Thursday he fears for the safety of his family and himself after the government of Turkey launched an espionage investigation and after he was attacked in prison by a knife-wielding inmate who claimed he was told to kill him for cooperating with US authorities. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reza Zarrab, who has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with US prosecutors in the case, also said he had complained about Halkbank deputy general manager Mehmet Hakan Atilla to Atilla's former superior on multiple occasions. He has pleaded not guilty.

Earlier on Thursday, a lawyer for Atilla, Cathy Fleming, sought through cross-examination to undermine Zarrab's credibility.

Zarrab was charged in a plot to help Iran avoid USA economic sanctions and flood financial institutions with $1 billion of oil revenue. He said Atilla helped structure those transactions.

Among the accusations raised against them are "partly or fully destroying the documents related to the security of the state and its domestic and foreign interests; destroying or forging them; or using them in unrelated areas; illegally obtaining or stealing them", Hurriyet said. Zarrab conceded under her questioning that he had lied repeatedly in the course of business, including to Atilla. He said he had a "close relationship" with Suleyman Aslan, who was Halkbank's general manager and Atilla's superior until 2013.

Zarrab, 34, ingratiated himself with Jaber, 62, of the Ivory Coast, before beginning his assaults, the suit says.

Zarrab said he paid bribes to Aslan, repeating his testimony in direct examination, but never to Atilla.

Prosecutors have charged nine people in the case with conspiring to help Iran evade sanctions, but only Zarrab, 34, and Atilla, 47, have been arrested by US authorities.

Zarrab estimated that he made from $100 million to $150 million between 2010 and 2016 by carrying out various illegal schemes, including helping Iran dodge United States sanctions with hundreds of millions of dollars.

Zarrab testified on Tuesday that in return for his guilty plea prosecutors said he would not be charged with lying to law enforcement officers after his arrest and smoking synthetic marijuana in jail.

USA prosecutors say claims the trial resulted from political maneuvering are "ridiculous".

The trial against a Turkish banker accused of laundering money for Iran took a freakish turn as the US government's star witness was sued for rape by a man who says he was a fellow inmate in a New York City jail. He said prosecutors told him he would not be charged for those crimes because they were outside US jurisdiction. Erdogan on Sunday dismissed the case as a politically motivated attack on Turkey.