Gold trader Zarrab accused of raping ex-cellmate in his sixties

Gold trader Zarrab accused of raping ex-cellmate in his sixties

Since Zarrab became a witness, deputy chief executive of Turkish lender Halkbank Mehmet Hakan Atilla has become the lone defendant in the dock accused of violating sanctions, bribery and money laundering.

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

Zarrab said he worked with Halkbank from 2012 to 2016 to help Iran spend its oil and gas revenue overseas using fraudulent gold and food 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.

Under questioning by Fleming, Zarrab said he attended meetings with Atilla a "handful" of times during that period.

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. He said he had a "close relationship" with Suleyman Aslan, who was Halkbank's general manager and Atilla's superior until 2013.

The latest incident, on March 8, resulted in complaints from both Jaber and other inmates, who heard him "yelling and making noise" following an alleged attack by Zarrab, the lawsuit said.

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

Arrested in Miami in March 2016 on charges of evading United States sanctions on Iran, Zarrab, 34, has pleaded guilty of the charges and agreed to cooperate with the prosecutor in bid to reduce or, if possible, avoid punishment.

From 2016 to June 2017, Zarrab "paid correction officers" in NY "to smuggle contraband, including cellphones and alcohol into the jail for him", according to court documents released last month. In his opening statement last week, Victor Rocco, another lawyer for Atilla, told jurors that Zarrab was motivated to lie in order to get out of jail.

He told the court that he admitted to USA prosecutors that he had paid bribes in Turkey, misstated his Turkish income between 2002 and 2016 and procured prostitutes for other people around 2013.

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.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that the trial is a conspiracy to "blemish" the country.

Zarrab was charged in a plot to help Iran avoid US economic sanctions and flood financial institutions with $1 billion of oil revenue.

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