Zarrab’s lawyers ask US court to contact Turkish ministry
ISTANBULThe lawyers of an Iranian-Turkish tycoon accused of defying sanctions on Tehran have applied to a court, saying the evidence that caused his arrest was “falsified” and that their claim would be approved by the Turkish Justice Ministry.
Reza Zarrab, 33, was arrested in Miami in March en route to Disney World with his family and charged with conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran, defraud U.S. banks and launder money by helping Iranian entities transfer funds through U.S. institutions.
Zarrab’s lawyers have said the court’s decision to track Zarrab’s emails was approved after examining the police report that started the Dec. 17, 2013, graft probe case, and that the judge should confirm with the Turkish Justice Ministry whether the report was accurate, daily Sözcü reported.
The December 2013 corruption cases targeted figures close to the government and resulted in lasting enmity between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
Zarrab’s lawyers said the Dec. 17 graft operation was carried out “as a result of the enmity between Gülen and then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”
It was revealed in the enquiry that Zarrab’s emails were being tracked by U.S. authorities since 2014, based on the police report of the Dec. 17 graft probe. According to the lawyers, FBI agent Jennifer McReynolds chose the police report as evidence and the report was downloaded from the internet.
The lawyers also said the tracking decision should be canceled as the evidence turned out to be “falsified.”