The government's star witness in an Iran sanctions case with ties to Turkish President Recep Erdogan sexually brutalized his cellmate in a Manhattan federal lockup, according to a shocking new lawsuit. Zarrab also wired money to Jaber's family in Africa, the suit says.
The lawsuit says the abuse, which included rape, occurred between November 2016 and March 2017, when the men were cellmates at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan.
Zarrab bragged about his wealth, how it got him favors and that he would help the plaintiff win his case, according to the suit. He said Atilla helped structure those transactions. The sexual assaults continued, until the other inmate eventually "had the courage" to complain to staff and Zarrab was moved to another unit, the complaint says.
That prompted prison officials to move Zarrab to solitary confinement, the suit claims.
Robert J. Anello, a lawyer for Zarrab denied the allegations, saying "The allegations are outrageous and false from a source that is not remotely credible".
The trial against a Turkish banker accused of laundering money for Iran took a freakish turn as the USA government's star witness was sued for rape by a man who says he was a fellow inmate in a New York City jail.
His cooperation with the U.S. has angered Erdoğan, who has has stated publicly that Atilla's trial is being orchestrated by his political enemies, including a Muslim cleric accused of orchestrating a coup against him past year.
Mr. Schacht, asked why he had filed the suit the week Mr. Zarrab was testifying in the sanctions case, said the timing was coincidental and largely a factor of his being retained recently to represent the inmate and of conducting his own investigation.
Zarrab and eight other people, including Turkey's former economy minister Zafer Caglayan and three Halkbank executives, have been charged with engaging in transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars for Iran's government and Iranian entities from 2010 to 2015 in a scheme to evade USA sanctions. "I have nothing to with Turkey".
Zarrab hired a private lawyer for Jaber and in September 2016 put money in Jaber's commissary account, the suit says.
Indeed, his October 16th guilty plea for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran includes one count of bribery tied to his time at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Manhattan.
The plaintiff in the lawsuit says he was extradited past year to New York City from Prague and is being held in a federal lockup in Manhattan while awaiting sentencing.
Erdogan has condemned the prosecution and on Saturday proclaimed, "My country can never be condemned by virtual courts set up by FETO (Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation) scoundrels, fake representatives".