Turkey's president says NY trial is USA conspiracy

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Zarrab is a rich former pal of Erdogan who copped a plea and agreed to cooperate with Manhattan feds in their caseagainst a Turkish banker - defying Erdogan's wishes.

The alleged rape victim and Zarrab became friends in the jail and Zarrab offered to pay for him to retain a private lawyer, as he was being represented by a public defender, the paper said.

In January, Zarrab bragged he had bribed a Bureau of Prisons employee $4,000 so both men would be moved to a wing of the prison with cells that afforded more privacy, Jaber charges.

Earlier on Thursday, a lawyer for Atilla, Cathy Fleming, sought through cross-examination to undermine Zarrab's credibility. 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. Zarrab previously testified under questioning by a prosecutor that he worked with Halkbank from 2012 to 2016 to help Iran spend its oil and gas revenue overseas using fraudulent gold and food transactions.

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. Zarrab conceded under her questioning that he had lied repeatedly in the course of business, including to Atilla. He said he had a "close relationship" with Suleyman Aslan, who was Halkbank's general manager and Atilla's superior until 2013.

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Zarrab, 34, was arrested by USA authorities in March 2016 on suspicion of taking part in the alleged sanctions-busting scam but is now cooperating with the authorities in an apparent plea bargain. Zarrab is testifying against Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla.

Over his seven days of testimony in Manhattan federal court, Zarrab said Turkish officials took bribes and helped Iran launder money. The plaintiff's lawyer, Alexei Schacht, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Prosecutors disclosed last week that Zarrab pled guilty in October to helping Iran avoid sanctions and bribing a guard. "You are furious with people in Turkey that it did not work, isn't that true?" He said prosecutors told him he would not be charged for those crimes because they were outside US jurisdiction.

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 U.S. sanctions. Erdogan on Sunday dismissed the case as a politically motivated attack on Turkey.

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.

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