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

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

Istanbul Public Prosecutor's Office ordered seizure of a $58-million Challenger 300 jet belonging to a company owned by Zarrab, his 46-meter superyacht, estimated to be valued at $7 million, over espionage charges, media said on Thursday.

The testimony came on the same day that a federal inmate sued Zarrab in state court in New York City for unspecified damages, saying his one-time cellmate raped him.

The disclosures in Manhattan federal court by Reza Zarrab, the government's star witness, came as he finished seven days of testimony in the trial of a Turkish banker charged with violating USA economic sanctions against Iran. Fleming then asked about Zarrab's efforts to get out of USA jail after his March 2016 arrest.

President Recep Tayip Erdogan's administration seized Zarrab's assets and those of his family the day after Zarrab implicated him in a money laundering scheme: When Erdogan was prime minister, Zarrab said, the Turkish leader personally ordered transactions that would launder billions of dollars to Iran in violation of US sanctions.

- Turkey's president says the NY trial of a Turkish banker is a US conspiracy being staged to "blackmail" and "blemish" his country.

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.

Overshadowed by this geopolitical intrigue, Zarrab has been called as the US 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.

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

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

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.

Zarrab said that retaliation from his government has not stopped him from testifying.

Newly released from prison, Zarrab said, he considered starting "to trade again" at Halkbank. According to a transcript of sidebar conversations between the judge and lawyers, Atilla's defense lawyers considered confronting Zarrab on the witness stand with the accusations but decided against it.

Zarrab's testimony likely will win him leniency against charges that otherwise could carry a prison term of up to 130 years. Zarrab also wired money to Jaber's family in Africa, the suit says.

Once they were cellmates, Zarrab "started telling Plaintiff that he likes having sex with both men and women", Jaber's suit reads.

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.

Zarrab's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, denied the charges.

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