Turkish Iran sanctions witness Reza Zarrab 'threatened with knife'

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

A Turkish-Iranian gold trader testifying in the trial of a Turkish banker accused of helping Iran evade USA sanctions said on Tuesday that he paid a $45,000 (33,523 pounds) bribe to a US prison guard to obtain alcohol and use the guard's phone.

Turkish authorities have detained 17 people linked to Zarrab in an investigation launched after he cooperated with USA authorities.

Zarrab said he paid Turkey's former Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan between €45 million and €50 million (more than $50 million) in bribes in 2012 and 2013 in order to secure his help in evading United States sanctions on Iran.

Mr. Schacht, asked why he had filed the suit the week Mr. Zarrab was testifying in the sanctions case, said the timing was coincidental and largely a factor of his being retained recently to represent the inmate and of conducting his own investigation.

The defense says Atilla is "not corrupt".

Zarrab pleaded guilty to charges that he schemed to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions in October.

He said he also bribed him with a watch and a piano.

The accusations have surfaced as Zarrab testifies before a federal court in Manhattan on his role in a lucrative regional trade circuit, that saw Iran inject billions of euros of hydrocarbon revenues into the global banking sector via Turkey's public banking institution - circumventing USA sanctions prohibiting trade with Teheran.

His testimony turned dramatic Thursday as it neared its end as Assistant U.S. Attorney Sidhardha Kamaraju elicited a description of a jailhouse attack. He testified that he might be permitted to be released on bail once the trial is finished.

In a plea agreement entered as evidence in the trial, Zarrab admitted conspiring to bribe a guard at the Metropolitan Correctional Center to smuggle him alcohol and cellphones, which he used to call his relatives and a Turkish lawyer. The testimony came as Zarrab was cross-examined by one of Atilla's lawyers, Cathy Fleming.

Indeed, his October 16th guilty plea for violating USA sanctions against Iran includes one count of bribery tied to his time at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Manhattan.

Faouzi Jaber, 62, an Ivory Coast native awaiting sentencing in a federal weapons and drugs case, says in his Manhattan Supreme civil suit that he was cellmates with Reza Zarrab, 34, from 2016 through this past spring. Zarrab also sent money to Jaber's family in Africa and put cash in his commissary account, it added.

Once they were cellmates, Zarrab "started telling Plaintiff that he likes having sex with both men and women", Jaber's suit reads. He said Atilla helped structure those transactions.

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