U.S. judge ‘stunned’ by Giuliani ’s determination to terminate Zarrab case - analysis
The U.S. Judge presiding over the high profile U.S. sanctions busting case involving Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, said he was shocked by the determination former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani displayed in serving as an intermediary between Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in terminating the case, writes Adam Klasfeld, a reporter for U.S.-based Courthouse News.
The case, dubbed the “the biggest sanctions evasion case prosecuted in the United States,’’ exposed a scheme to move Iranian money past U.S. sanctions through HalkBank, one of Turkey’s largest state-owned banks. Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, who turned state’s witness in the case, implicated high-ranking Turkish politicians in the scheme, including former economy minister Zafer Çağlayan.
Zarrab pleaded guilty to seven counts of sanctions violations, money laundering and bribery when Giuliani’s pressure in his case failed, Klasfeld explains. Judge Richard Berman became household name halfway across the world in Turkey, following the cooperation agreement Zarrab reached with prosecutors.
Evidence in the Zarrab case showed as well that Giuliani’s law firm Greenberg Traurig acted as a registered agent for the Turkish government, the article notes.
“Had Rudy succeeded, he and the two presidents…. would have helped very significantly the country of Iran – which was the beneficiary of the conspiracies to avoid USA sanctions against Iran, i.e. the very heart of the allegations in this case,” the site quotes Berman as writing. “My head still spins when I consider that.”