Turkey's president says NY trial is USA conspiracy

Turkey seizes US witness Reza Zarrab’s private jet yacht

Turkey seizes US witness Reza Zarrab’s private jet yacht by Turkey Purge | Dec 7 2017 | Today in Crackdown

In this courtroom sketch, Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, testifies before Judge Richard Berman that he helped Iran evade USA economic sanctions with help from Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla.

Asked if the suit was prompted by anyone seeking to embarrass or discredit Zarrab, Shacht said, "This has nothing to do with Turkey".

Zarrab said that after the encounter, he was transferred from Brooklyn, New York's Metropolitan Detention Center to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Zarrab is testifying for USA prosecutors against an executive from Turkey's majority state-owned Halkbank who is accused of taking part in the scheme with Zarrab.

Zarrab and eight other people, including Turkey's former economy minister Zafer Caglayan and three Halkbank executives, have been charged with engaging in transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars for Iran's government and Iranian entities from 2010 to 2015 in a scheme to evade U.S. sanctions.

Zarrab, 34, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy in October and has cooperated, providing evidence to support charges against Atilla and other individuals.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that the NY trial of a Turkish banker is a USA conspiracy being staged to "blackmail" and "blemish" his country.

Over his seven days of testimony in Manhattan federal court, Zarrab said Turkish officials took bribes and helped Iran launder money.

Overshadowed by this geopolitical intrigue, Zarrab has been called as the USA government's star witness - not against any president or politician, but against a banker: Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a former manager at the state-run Halkbank.

In another conversation, Zarrab's attorney said that he would "meet with BB and would also summon the general manager".

On Thursday CNN Turk reported that Erdogan had said Turkey did not violate US sanctions.

Newly released from prison, Zarrab said, he considered starting "to trade again" at Halkbank.

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The defense says Atilla is "not corrupt".

Zarrab's testimony in the ongoing case will likely will win him leniency against charges that could carry a prison term of up to 130 years. Zarrab said he used the guard's phone to speak with his wife, daughter and lawyer. Zarrab also wired money to Jaber's family in Africa, the suit says.

Zarrab was eventually moved to a different floor, but then the other inmate was moved to the same floor, which Zarrab told him happened because he bribed a worker with $4,000, according to the suit.

After that, Zarrab "started telling plaintiff that he likes having sex with both men and women" and "started masturbating in front of plaintiff", the lawsuit claimed.

Jaber, a cancer survivor with a heart condition, "felt helpless and unable to fight off the younger and stronger defendant", suit says.

Ben Brafman, an attorney for Zarrab, said his client "categorically denies the allegation and intends to vigorously defend against the lawsuit".

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