Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Reza Zarrab's Ex-Cellmate Accuses Him of Rape

Reza Zarrab's Ex-Cellmate Accuses Him of Rape

Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, who agreed to cooperate with prosecutors to not stand trial in the United States over a breach of now-lifted USA sanctions on Iran, money laundering and other charges, was accused late Thursday by an ex-cellmate in his early 60s of sexual assault in a Manhattan prison.

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

Zarrab is testifying for US prosecutors against an executive from Turkey's majority state-owned Halkbank who is accused of taking part in the scheme with Zarrab. Zarrab testified that Atilla, who worked at the state-run HalkBank, never asked Zarrab for kickbacks and Zarrab never paid him bribes.

In September 2016, Zarrab hired a lawyer for Jaber and arranged to have him moved into the same cell, the suit said.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons confirmed receipt of a request for information about the alleged incident, but the agency offered no new details by press time.

The inmate pleaded guilty in July to one count of conspiring to provide material support for a terrorist group and is awaiting sentencing in federal court.

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.

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

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Zarrab, a Turkish and Iranian national, pleaded guilty in October to charges that he schemed to help Iran evade US sanctions.

Zarrab said that "BB" was code for "the prime minister", and the general manager was Ali Fuat, who was then in charge of Halkbank.

Zarrab said that the man acknowledged coming after him because he had flipped to the USA government.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach Aslan for comment.

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

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. He said prosecutors told him he would not be charged for those crimes because they were outside US jurisdiction.

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

His testimony turned dramatic Thursday as it neared its end as Assistant U.S. Attorney Sidhardha Kamaraju elicited a description of a jailhouse attack.

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