“Concrete evidence” links Zarrab case to Gülen movement - Daily Sabah
There is “concrete evidence” linking the judge and former prosecutor in the Reza Zarrab case to the Gülen movement, according to pro-Erdoğan newspaper Daily Sabah.
Zarrab, an Iranian-Turkish gold dealer, stands accused of money laundering and violating U.S. sanctions on Iran in collaboration with Turkish officials and senior managers of state-run Halkbank.
The accusations first came to light on Dec. 17, 2013, when Turkish prosecutors, later accused of being followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen – a group dubbed the Fethullahist Terror Organisation (FETÖ) – opened an investigation that quickly spread to senior members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and their relatives.
Zarrab was arrested in March last year while on holiday in the United States, but Turkish pro-government media say that the U.S. case is also a Gülen movement-linked conspiracy.
The prosecutor who opened the case against Zarrab, Preet Bharara, was removed from his post by U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this year.
Bharara “is accused of using the same summary of proceedings used by FETÖ-linked police during the Dec. 17 operation and had retweeted and supported FETÖ trolls on his official Twitter account”, Daily Sabah said.
The summary of proceedings from the Turkish case was included as an exhibit in the case by Bharara, who has also been criticised recently in the Turkish media for retweeting a tweet that included a link to an article from news website Turkish Minute, established by former employees of the Gülen-linked Zaman and Today’s Zaman newspapers.
Daily Sabah also said that Bharara’s one-time mentor, Senator Chuck Schumer, “earns around $2.5 million annually from FETÖ through Steptoe & Johnson law firm”.
While Turkish media sources have previously called Schumer’s relationship with the law firm “close” and claimed that it earns $2.5 million a year from its contract to defend Gülen from extradition back to Turkey, the idea that this sum is being remitted in full to Schumer appears to be original to Daily Sabah.
Richard Berman, the judge in the Zarrab case, gave a talk on the rule of law to an Istanbul symposium in the aftermath of the shutting down of the 2013 corruption case. Four partners in the law firm who organised the symposium have since been charged with having links to the Gülen movement.