Giuliani downplays Iran sanctions case against Turkish man

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 20, 2017

Rudy Giuliani (joo-lee-AH'-nee) is citing national security as he downplays a criminal case brought against a prominent Turkish businessman who is now the former NY mayor's legal client.

In court papers unsealed late Wednesday, Giuliani says senior US and Turkey officials are receptive to resolving the case.

"That receptiveness is hardly surprising when one considers that none of the transactions in which Mr. Zarrab is alleged to have participated involved weapons or nuclear technology, or any other contraband, but rather involved consumer goods, and that Turkey is situated in a part of the world strategically critical to the United States", Giuliani said.

The disclosures came in response to a demand by the NY federal judge overseeing the sanctions case for more information about the roles being played by Giuliani, a former U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, and Michael Mukasey, a former U.S. attorney general.

Prosecutors have raised concerns about possible conflicts because eight of the USA banks involved in the case have been clients of Giuliani or Mukasey's law firms. They have also cited the work of Giuliani's firm, Greenberg Traurig LLP, as a registered agent of Turkey.

Zarrab is accused of conspiring to conduct illegal transactions through US banks on behalf of Iran's government, violating USA sanctions. Both men have pleaded not guilty. Last month Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called Atilla's arrest "political", while President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused US authorities of having "ulterior motives" in prosecuting Zarrab.

The papers were filed after a Manhattan federal court judge asked questions about the role Giuliani and Mukasey are playing in Zarrab's defense.

Berman also asked for information about who has been paying the legal bills for Zarrab's top-flight defense team, which to date has included almost 20 of New York's most elite white-collar criminal defense attorneys.

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