Dec 14 2017

Absolutely unusual: NYT reporter reflects on Zarrab trial

The high-profile trial of a Turkish banking executive in the United States for undermining Iranian sanctions is hardly typical in any sense, the New York Times’s court reporter Ben Weiser reflected in an interview with public radio station NPR.

“It's a rather unusual trial, isn't it?” Weiser was asked by presenter Robert Seigel.

“It absolutely is,” he replied.

There's no question because you can see it in the Turkish media every day that this case is sending, you know, political tremors through Turkey. The president of Turkey, the foreign minister, the prime - they're all talking about it, and they're blaming the court. They're blaming the judge. They've long blamed the prosecutor's office here. And as you may have known, they've also blamed a group that, in Turkey, is viewed as a terrorist group, the Gülenists.

Weiser told NPR his impressions of what happened after the 2013 corruption investigation was initiated by former policeman and witness Hüseyin Korkmaz.

“Within months, the Turkish government quickly had them released, quashed the investigation, and this officer and others were essentially purged,”

“In this guy's (Korkmaz’s) case, he was reassigned to guard a bridge - he said put on bridge detail - and then was later sent to jail.