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Judge has advice for Turkey officials in Iran sanctions case

November 21, 2017
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The judge overseeing two Turkish businessmen charged with evading economic sanctions against Iran says Turkey's government can provide evidence to help the men instead of commenting like an "armchair quarterback."

Manhattan federal Judge Richard Berman spoke after Turkey's deputy prime minister said gold trader Reza Zarrab was a "hostage" being forced to testify against Turkey's government.

Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian businessman, has stopped appearing in court, prompting speculation he is cooperating with the U.S. and may testify against his co-defendant, an executive with the state-owned Halkbank. Lawyers have refused to discuss Zarrab, though he apparently was the subject of a sealed court hearing on Monday.

Jury selection is scheduled to start Monday.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said Tuesday that claims the prosecution is driven by Turkish politics are "ridiculous."



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