US judge seeks internal communication in Zarrab, Atilla case
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman wants lawyers in a case involving Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab and Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla to detail any internal communications they had with the U.S. and Turkish governments.
Berman on Jan. 18 directed prosecutors and defense lawyers to include the information in sentencing memos in the prosecution that resulted in the conviction of Atilla and a guilty plea by Zarrab, the Associated Press has reported.
The order asks for a description of all “meetings, calls, texts, emails, etc. by all counsel, including Turkish counsel, with any officials of the United States and/or Turkish governments and relating to the prosecution and/or disposition of this case.”
The case heard in federal court in New York further raised tensions between the U.S. and Turkey.
Atilla was found guilty on Jan. 3 by a jury on five charges related to conspiracy and bank fraud related to violating sanctions on Iran. The Turkish government has said it “does not recognize” the U.S. court decision.
Zarrab was arrested in the U.S. in 2016 on similar charges and pleaded guilty prior to the start of the trial before he testified for prosecutors against Atilla.