Reza Zarrab's Ex-Cellmate Accuses Him of Rape


A Turkish-Iranian gold trader testified Thursday he fears for the safety of his family and himself after the government of Turkey launched an espionage investigation and after he was attacked in prison by a knife-wielding inmate who claimed he was told to kill him for cooperating with USA authorities.

On March 8, the suit says, after the inmate again was attacked by Mr. Zarrab and began yelling and making noise, other inmates apparently complained to the jail, as did the inmate himself.

Media reported on Dec 6 that Turkish police has detained at least 17 people including Zarrab's three employees who allegedly sent documents to the U.S. for the businessman's case in NY.

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". Reuters was not immediately able to reach Aslan for comment.

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A Turkish gold trader testifying for US prosecutors in the trial of an executive at Turkey's state-owned Halkbank, who is charged with helping Iran evade USA sanctions, said Tuesday that he and the banker never liked each other. 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. There's been no mention of the rape allegation in court.

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.

In September 2016, Zarrab hired a lawyer for Jaber and arranged to have him moved into the same cell, the suit said. He pleaded guilty in July to a plot to provide weapons including surface-to-air missiles to the Colombian guerrilla group FARC, and is scheduled to learn his punishment on February 1.

After that, Zarrab "started telling plaintiff that he likes having sex with both men and women" and "started masturbating in front of plaintiff", the lawsuit claimed. He said Atilla helped structure those transactions.

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"The parties lived together locked for much of the time in a small cell which became a kind of torture chamber", Jaber's suit filed Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court states. Zarrab also wired money to Jaber's family in Africa, the suit says.

Zarrab bragged about his wealth, how it got him favors and that he would help the plaintiff win his case, according to the suit.

Zarrab was eventually moved to a different floor, but then the other inmate was moved to the same floor, which Zarrab told him happened because he bribed a worker with $4,000, according to the suit. Zarrab said he sometimes complained about Atilla to Aslan.

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