‘I’ve been using Prozac,’ arrested Turkish-Iranian businessman says
NEW YORKThe arrested Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, who is being tried in the United States on money laundering and sanction-breaching charges, has told the court he has been using Prozac anti-depressant drugs.
He did not cite the reason for the usage and did not state how long he had been using them for.
Upon Judge Richard Berman’s questions, Zarrab, 33, told the court that he was a high school graduate from Turkey, Doğan News Agency has reported.
Zarrab was asked about his lawyers, who were also the lawyers of the banks investigated in the case, which he had used for money transactions.
He reportedly told the court that he was aware of the situation and said he wanted to continue his trial with the same lawyers.
Judge Berman said he would soon announce the verdict and end it.
Zarrab was the prime suspect in a corruption and bribery scandal involving the Turkish government that went public on Dec. 17, 2013. He was accused of being the ringleader of a money laundering and gold smuggling ring in Turkey that circumvented sanctions against Iran.
The charges were dismissed after prosecutors investigating the case were accused by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of plotting against the government and were removed from their posts.
Four former cabinet members - EU Minister Egemen Bağış, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar - were suspects in the probe before their cases were dropped.
Erdoğan and the AKP accused the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen of using the case to plot against the government.