Dec 20 2017

Warrant issued for parents of police witness in Zarrab trial

An Istanbul court has issued a warrant for the parents of a former policeman who testified in a U.S. court that the Turkish government had colluded with Turkish-Iranian gold dealer Reza Zarrab to undermine U.S. sanctions on Iran.

In his testimony to the Southern District of New York court, Hüseyin Korkmaz said he had kept the evidence on a compact disc he had given to his mother for safe keeping, pro-government newspaper Star said.

Korkmaz also told the court that he had taken $50,000 from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and that the prosecution was helping him pay his rent.

The court case, in which Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a former executive at Turkey’s state Halkbank, faces charges of conspiring to break U.S. sanctions on Iran, is due to conclude soon after the jury gives its verdict.

The Istanbul court also issued a warrant for Ertuğrul Gazi Alperen, a Turkish lawyer the prosecutor said was living in the United Kingdom and had helped Korkmaz to escape Turkey.

This is not the only move that has been carried out against the relatives of witnesses in the U.S. trial: the wealth of Zarrab and his family members in Turkey was seized after it emerged that he had made a plea deal and would testify against Atilla.