Zarrab hired a private lawyer for Jaber and in September 2016 put money in Jaber's commissary account, the suit says.
Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, who agreed to cooperate with prosecutors to not stand trial in the United States over a breach of now-lifted USA sanctions on Iran, money laundering and other charges, was accused late Thursday by an ex-cellmate in his early 60s of sexual assault in a Manhattan prison. Zarrab said he paid bribes to Aslan, repeating his testimony in direct examination, but never to Atilla. The plaintiff's lawyer, Alexei Schacht, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Reza Zarrab - the key witness in a NY trial over alleged skirting of USA economic sanctions against Iran - has been accused of sexually assaulting a cellmate, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday. After spending more than a year in a federal prison, Zarrab recently agreed to plead guilty and testify against Atilla, a deputy general manager at Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS, in exchange for leniency.
The accusations have surfaced as Zarrab testifies before a federal court in Manhattan on his role in a lucrative regional trade circuit, that saw Iran inject billions of euros of hydrocarbon revenues into the worldwide banking sector via Turkey's Halkbank public banking institution - circumventing USA sanctions prohibiting trade with Tehran. According to a transcript of sidebar conversations between the judge and lawyers, Atilla's defense lawyers considered confronting Zarrab on the witness stand with the accusations but decided against it. The other inmate said he was impressed by Zarrab's wealth and power, especially since it helped him to buy "special treatment" from inmates and guards. Under questioning by Fleming, Zarrab said he attended meetings with Atilla a "handful" of times during that period.
Zarrab, 34, ingratiated himself with Jaber, 62, of the Ivory Coast, before beginning his assaults, the suit says. Zarrab had testified earlier in the case that he complained to Aslan when Atilla refused to sign off on a transaction related to a sham sale of food to Iran.
Prosecutors have charged nine people in the case, but only Zarrab, 34, and Atilla, 47, have been arrested by US authorities.
US prosecutors say claims the trial resulted from political maneuvering are "ridiculous".
Zarrab estimated that he made from $100 million to $150 million between 2010 and 2016 by carrying out various illegal schemes, including helping Iran dodge U.S. sanctions with hundreds of millions of dollars. On Thursday CNN Turk said Erdogan had said Turkey did not violate USA sanctions.
Zarrab has accused Turkish politicians, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of helping Iran evade USA sanctions. Erdogan on Sunday dismissed the case as a politically motivated attack on Turkey.