Dec 21 2017

Zarrab case judge’s hotel bill leaked to Turkish media

A columnist seen as close to Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has leaked the Istanbul hotel bill of a judge in a high-profile U.S. sanctions trial.

“As the Zarrab case continues, the ‘U.S.-FETÖ Partnership’ is emerging more clearly,” Abdulkadir Selvi wrote in centrist newspaper Hürriyet, using the Turkish government’s preferred term for the Fethullah Gülen movement.

Berman had denied coming to Istanbul as part of a movement-linked junket, Selvi wrote, but the truth had now emerged.

Appearing to believe that the judge appointed the witnesses at a U.S. trial, Selvi also criticised Berman for choosing Hüseyin Korkmaz to take the stand.

Berman discussed his Istanbul trip in early 2014 at the beginning of the trial, but claimed it “was co-sponsored by the United Nations Global Compact and a leading Istanbul law firm, formerly an affiliate of DLA Piper”.

Reuters quoted Berman as saying at the conference that “the rule of law as contrasted with the rule of man is under some attack in Turkey.”

Bills

In Istanbul, Selvi said, “Berman checked into (the Four Seasons Hotel) and €480 ($650) was paid for one night’s stay. By who? By the Fethullahist YKK (Yüksel Karkın Küçük) Group.”

But as freelance journalist Emre Erciş pointed out on Twitter, both bills for the YKK delegation clearly show that they were invoiced to the Istanbul affiliate of the Grey Global Group, a New York-based advertising agency.

Among the other guests whose names are visible on the bills are Austrian politician Hans Swoboda, Harvard Law School professor Richard Fallon, Yale Law School professor Heather Gerken, former Chief Justice of England and Wales Harry Kenneth Woolf, and former Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell.

YKK denied claims that they were linked to the Gülen movement when they emerged last year. Its owners later fled overseas , ten of the company's lawyers were detained in a police raid and the firm was seized by the government .