Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Turkish gold trader says he paid $45000 bribe to United States prison guard

Detained Azerbaijani businessman Reza Zarrab is surrounded by journalists as he arrives at a police center in Istanbul Detained Azerbaijani businessman Reza Zarrab is surrounded by journalists as he arrives at a police center in Istanbul
Sammy Stanley | 08 December, 2017, 02:37

The trial has drawn considerable interest in Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called it a US conspiracy to "blackmail" and "blemish" his country.

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 US 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.

Robert Anello, attorney for Zarrab, told AFP the allegations were "outrageous and false from a source that is not remotely credible". The U.S. Bureau of Prisons did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Zarrab last month accepted all the US charges against him, including the violation of now-lifted USA sanctions against Iran, money laundering and other charges and agreed to cooperate as a witness against Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the former deputy CEO of Turkey's state-run lender Halkbank. After spending more than a year in a federal prison, Zarrab recently agreed to plead guilty and testify against Atilla, a deputy general manager at Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS, in exchange for leniency. The testimony came as Zarrab was cross-examined by one of Atilla's lawyers, Cathy Fleming. There's been no mention of the rape allegation in court.

Al Jazeera's Kristen Saloomey reports from NY. Zarrab also sent money to Jaber's family in Africa and put cash in his commissary account, it added. He pleaded guilty in July to a plot to provide weapons including surface-to-air missiles to the Colombian guerrilla group FARC, and is scheduled to learn his punishment on February 1.

Newborn dies 7 days after mistakenly declared dead by Delhi hospital
He also said he will also not get his wife, who is still admitted at Max Hospital, discharged from it, until they get justice. Delhi's police in their statement said that it had transferred the case to its crime unit.

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. He said Atilla helped structure those transactions. He said Zarrab bragged that he was rich and could hire a private lawyer for Jaber to help him win his criminal case. During the next two months, the complaint says, their small cell "became a kind of torture chamber".

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

Zarrab, "through his power at the jail", arranged to have Jaber moved into his cell, according to papers.

According to the plea agreement, Zarrab also paid bribes to foreign officials and corporate representatives between 2002 and March 2016 in return for personal benefits, favorable business dealings and the protection of government officials.

Zarrab then began acting "odd", behaving in a sexual manner in front of the other inmate and began sexually assaulting him, according to the suit, which describes a series of incidents that occurred in the fall of 2016.

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