Investigation begins into Zarrab case witness’s family’s escape from Turkey

Turkey has started an investigation over suspicions that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) spirited the parents of Hüseyin Korkmaz, a former police officer who is one of the witnesses in a case regarding attempts to undermine a U.S. embargo on Iran, out of Turkey to Georgia, secular newspaper Hürriyet said.

After Korkmaz appeared as a witness against Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a former official at Turkish state lender Halkbank who is charged with helping to evade the sanctions, told the court that he gave all the documents and phone tapes to his mother to hide, Turkey issued an arrest warrant for his parents Ayşe and Mustafa Korkmaz.

Korkmaz was a ranking officer at the corruption desk until the Dec. 17-25, 2013 graft probe and said he listened to intercepts of telephone conversations between government officials and businessmen as part of an officially authorised investigation.

Korkmaz’s parents were last seen in the Hopa district of Artvin, a northeastern province of Turkey, eight months ago.

According to Korkmaz’s statements that he got in touch with U.S. officials after handing over important document at the airport and he made a cooperation with U.S. prosecutors, for $50,000 and a rented place to stay.

When Korkmaz said that he got in touch with FBI in 2016 and asked for a security for himself and his family, Turkey started an investigation into his escape.

The two judges who ruled that Korkmaz should be released from prison pending trial were sent from the Istanbul courts to provincial posts by a judicial decree issued on Monday.

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