US says Turkish gold-traders-facing-Iran test version called Erdogan ties

US says Turkish gold-traders-facing-Iran test version called Erdogan ties

By Jonathan Stamp

NEW YORK (Reuters) — A wealthy Turkish gold trader charged in the United States in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran for support, and called the name of the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan ahead of his business, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

The allegations against the dealer, Reza Zarrab, was reported in detail in a Monday Federal court fell to a filing in Manhattan, but the Turkish lira more than 1 percent against the US dollar, according to Bloomberg News, that the filing on Friday.

Erdogan was not behavior accused of wrongdoing, but the case is complicated, to ally the US relations with Turkey, a crucial Middle East.

Benjamin Brafman, the lawyer for Zarrab, do not respond immediately to a request for comment. Turkish government officials could not be immediately reached.

The prosecutors accuse the Iran-born Zarrab and co-conspirators in the handling of hundreds of millions of dollars for the Iranian government and Iranian entities from 2010 to 2015, to withdraw in a scheme that U.S. actions.

Nine people have been charged criminally, but only Zarrab and a banker from Turkish Halkbank, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, are in U.S. custody.

A trial is scheduled for Nov. 27.

But in a filing late on Friday, Atilla’s lawyers for a delay until January 2018 requested, citing the amount of work to be done, «a lot» in Turkey and the difficulties of trial preparation with Atilla is a prison in Manhattan.

In Monday’s filing, prosecutors said, «the government expects that the evidence introduced at trial will show that the Turkish government and the banks officers were an integral part of the sanctions evasion scheme.»

The submission recorded in detail telephone conversations and documents to propose to the public Prosecutor’s office, Zarrab was in search of Erdogan’s interests.

He said a call took place on April 16, 2013, when Zarrab was talking with a defendant about his efforts to buy, to establish a bank to a channel for Iranian transactions.

Prosecutors said Zarrab and Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, had spoken to four days earlier at a wedding.

«I said it that day at the wedding,» Zarrab, the co-defendant, according to the Prosecutor’s office. «I’m going to go back and say, Mr Prime Minister, if you agree, give me a license, I’m going to go, although the BDDK (Turkish banking regulator), even if I bought the bank anyway.»

In a separate filing, Atilla’s lawyers have said Zarrab did not participate «substantially» in the case, and that of Attila, may be the only defendant to appear at trial.

This increases the speculation that Zarrab might be preparing a confession, or to cooperate, or that the charges against him can change that.

The case, United States v. Zarrab et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 15-cr-00867.

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