Erdogan Says US Trying To 'Blackmail' Turkey With Iran Sanctions Case

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Zarrab's testimony in the ongoing case will likely will win him leniency against charges that could carry a prison term of up to 130 years.

Reza Zarrab, who is cooperating with prosecutors, testified that he got the money through a Turkish attorney whom he did not identify.

Zarrab hired a private lawyer for Jaber and in September 2016 put money in Jaber's commissary account, the suit says.

In November, Zarrab anally raped Jaber, according to the suit.

Zarrab, "through his power at the jail", arranged to have Jaber moved into his cell, according to papers.

Their small cell "became a kind of a torture chamber" where Zarrab allegedly shoved a cucumber into Jaber's anus in March, causing him to bleed from his rectum.

The inmate, who is in his early 60s, "felt helpless and unable to fight off the younger and stronger" man, the suit says, adding that the inmate was also "too scared and embarrassed at that time to complain or to seek help".

A trial playing out in NY is being watched carefully in Turkey.

On March 8, the suit says, after the inmate again was attacked by Mr. Zarrab and began yelling and making noise, other inmates apparently complained to the jail, as did the inmate himself.

That prompted prison officials to move Zarrab to solitary confinement, the suit claims.

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Zarrab's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, denied the charges.

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Arrested in Miami in March 2016 on charges of evading U.S. sanctions on Iran, Zarrab, 34, has pleaded guilty of the charges and agreed to cooperate with the prosecutor in bid to reduce or, if possible, avoid punishment.

Zarrab estimated that he made from $100 million to $150 million between 2010 and 2016 by carrying out various illegal schemes, including helping Iran dodge U.S. sanctions with hundreds of millions of dollars. Fleming asked. "I don't have any anger toward anybody, ma'am", Zarrab said.

"The timing of this is coincidental", he said.

In a plea agreement entered as evidence in the trial, Zarrab admitted conspiring to bribe a guard at the Metropolitan Correctional Center to smuggle him alcohol and cellphones, which he used to call his relatives and a Turkish lawyer.

Indeed, his October 16th guilty plea for violating USA sanctions against Iran includes one count of bribery tied to his time at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Manhattan.

Last week, media reported that Zarrab admitted his guilt in a U.S. court and said that Erdogan personally approved his deals with Tehran in violation of sanctions.

Erdogan has condemned the prosecution and on Saturday proclaimed, "My country can never be condemned by virtual courts set up by FETO (Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation) scoundrels, fake representatives".

Turkish authorities have detained 17 people linked to Zarrab in an investigation launched after he cooperated with United States authorities.

The Manhattan US Attorney's office declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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