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

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

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called the NY trial of a Turkish banker accused of conspiring to help Iran evade USA sanctions "blackmail" and a "blemish" on his country. Zarrab has accused Turkish politicians, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan said the trial was a ploy to distract Turkey while Washington makes plans to strengthen Kurdish groups in Syria that Turkey considers to be "terrorists" allied with armed separatists in Turkey. His testimony likely will win him leniency at sentencing. Prosecutors have charged nine people in the case, but only Zarrab, 34, and Atilla, 47, have been arrested by US authorities.

"Turkey has no plans against the United States, but it is clear that the USA has plans against us", Erdogan said. "The defendants are charged with serious crimes".

The defense says Atilla is "not corrupt".

For two days, Atilla's attorney Cathy Fleming has sought to undermine that narrative during detailed cross-examination of Zarrab, who acknowledged to the jury on Wednesday that he left Atilla out of the loop for particularly sensitive transactions.

Media reported on Dec 6 that Turkish police has detained at least 17 people including Zarrab's three employees who allegedly sent documents to the USA for the businessman's case in NY. Zarrab said he used the guard's phone to speak with his wife, daughter and lawyer. Under direct examination last week, Zarrab testified that at that time, Atilla did not know the transaction was a sham and so was confused by it. Zarrab said he paid bribes to Aslan, repeating his testimony in direct examination, but never to Atilla.

Zarrab and eight other people, including Turkey's former economy minister Zafer Caglayan and three Halkbank executives, have been charged with engaging in transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars for Iran's government and Iranian entities from 2010 to 2015 in a scheme to evade United States sanctions.

He said he paid the guard $45,000 to provide those items, along with some cold medicine that wasn't sold at the commissary.

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. "You are furious with people in Turkey that it did not work, isn't that true?" U.S. District Judge Richard Berman is seated at the bench, background left.

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



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