Arrested Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab receiving treatment for depression
Tolga TANIŞ - Razi CANİKLİGİL - NEW YORKThe arrested Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, who is being tried in the U.S. on charges of fraud, violating sanctions on Iran, committing bankruptcy fraud, and laundering money, has reportedly been diagnosed with depression.
Zarrab’s lawyers did not reveal how long he had been receiving treatment but said he was taking antidepressant drugs, according to daily Hürriyet’s U.S. reporters.
He has been in jail since March 22, 2016, and faces up to 75 years in prison if found guilty.
The chief prosecutor of the case, Preet Bharara, said estimates of the amount of money transactions Zarrab had allegedly made through U.S. banks between 2007 and 2016 had risen from $1.5 billion to $6.5 billion.
In addition to eight banks involved until now in Zarrab’s case, it was revealed that Zarrab had allegedly also transferred money from four more U.S. banks: Banca Intesa, Bank of New York Mellon, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi New York, and Commerzbank. However, these money transfers did not cover euro-based transactions, which make up a predominant part of Zarrab’s case.
Citibank refuses demand
In a hearing held on Dec. 13, the court read out a statement from Bharara, in which he said it was a conflict of interest that the law firm defending Zarrab, Kirkland & Ellis, were also defending the eight banks involved in the case.
Viet Dinh, one of Zarrab’s lawyers, said six of the eight banks issued an official letter indicating that they acknowledged the situation. Dinh added that Citibank, which is one of the eight banks, refused to give such a letter, while Wells Fargo was still investigating the issue.
The hearing’s judge, Richard Berman, adjourned the verdict about this statement to a new hearing, which will be held on Dec. 20. Berman also brought forward the date of the jury trial by two months, to Aug. 21, 2017.