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Turkey Summons US FBI Agent Over Testimony In Iran Sanctions Case

14 Décembre 2017

Turkey's national police force on Wednesday summoned US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) representative in Ankara over an ongoing trial in a NY court involving the Turkish business tycoon Reza Zarrab and executive of the state-owned Halk bank accused of evading sanctions on Iran.

Anadolu said the Federal Bureau of Investigation official was summoned following testimony given by Huseyin Korkmaz in the trial of a former executive at Turkish state-run bank Halkbank, who is charged with taking part in a scheme to help Iran evade USA sanctions.

He said Erdogan's government eventually closed his investigation and he and other investigators were fired and jailed. He said he took his evidence with him. That evidence was later turned over to USA prosecutors, he said.

Already strained ties between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies Ankara and Washington have deteriorated further over the court case, in which Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, who is cooperating with USA prosecutors, has detailed a scheme to evade US sanctions.

Korkmaz is testifying for the prosecution at the trial. But last month Zarrab secured a plea agreement with prosecutors and he has also appeared as a prosecution witness.

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Korkmaz is testifying in the trial against banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who has pleaded not guilty. Atilla remains the only defendant standing trial.

Atilla's lawyers on December 13 asked the NY court to declare a mistrial, arguing that some of Korkmaz's testimony should not have been allowed.

Ankara charges Korkmaz with being a member of the US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen's movement that once had thousands of follower within security forces, bureaucracy and politics, a one-time ally but now a fierce opponent of Erdogan's government.

On December 13, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ denounced what he called "lies and smears" in the NY trial, and said "it is impossible for them to finish a plot in the US that started in Turkey".

The government blames Gulen's network for last year's failed military coup in Turkey. Gulen has denied Erdogan's accusations.

Turkey Summons US FBI Agent Over Testimony In Iran Sanctions Case