Inmate Accuses Star Witness in Iran Sanctions Case of Rape

Inmate Accuses Star Witness in Iran Sanctions Case of Rape

"Being in jail is a bad enough experience for someone, and this just made his experience so much worse", the lawyer for Zarrab's ex-cellmate, Alexei Schacht said.

In January, Zarrab bragged he had bribed a Bureau of Prisons employee $4,000 so both men would be moved to a wing of the prison with cells that afforded more privacy, Jaber charges.

Since Zarrab became a witness, deputy chief executive of Turkish lender Halkbank Mehmet Hakan Atilla has become the lone defendant in the dock accused of violating sanctions, bribery and money laundering.

Zarrab, 34, has since pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the Iran sanctions case, while Jaber pleaded guilty in July to one count of conspiring to provide material support for a terrorist group.

Zarrab said he worked with Halkbank from 2012 to 2016 to help Iran spend its oil and gas revenue overseas using fraudulent gold and food transactions.

The inmate, who is in his early 60s, "felt helpless and unable to fight off the younger and stronger" man, the suit says, adding that the inmate was also "too scared and embarrassed at that time to complain or to seek help".

Halkbank said last week that it had not taken part in any illegal transactions. Prosecutors have charged nine people in the case, but only Zarrab, 34, and Atilla, 47, have been arrested by US authorities. He said he had a "close relationship" with Suleyman Aslan, who was Halkbank's general manager and Atilla's superior until 2013.

The complaint says Zarrab was placed in solitary in April and then transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn before reaching the plea deal that has secured his freedom.

Zarrab said he paid bribes to Aslan, repeating his testimony in direct examination, but never to Atilla.

Turkish police on Tuesday detained at least 17 more people who allegedly sent documents to the U.S. for the ongoing Reza Zarrab case in NY, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. Prosecutors disclosed last week that Zarrab pled guilty in October to helping Iran avoid sanctions and bribing a guard. He said prosecutors told him he would not be charged for those crimes because they were outside US jurisdiction.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH'-jehp TY'-ihp UR'-doh-wahn) spoke Tuesday in Ankara, Turkey.

After Erdoğan cast the case as a coup attempt to overthrow his government orchestrated by his political enemies, several prosecutors were removed from the case, police were reassigned and the investigation against Zarrab was dropped in Turkey. On Thursday CNN Turk said Erdogan had said Turkey did not violate US sanctions.

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