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Reza Zarrab Details Money Laundering Scheme for Iran

By Brendan Pierson - NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Turkish-Iranian gold trader described in a U.S. court on Wednesday how he ran a sprawling international money laundering scheme aimed at helping Iran get around U.S. sanctions and spend its oil and gas revenues abroad. Reza Zarrab, who has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with U.S. prosecutors in the criminal trial of a Turkish bank executive, told jurors in federal court in Manhattan that he helped Iran use funds deposited in Turkey's state-owned Halkbank to buy gold, which was smuggled to Dubai and sold for cash. The testimony, given through Turkish interpreters, came on the second day of the trial of Halkbank executive Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who has pleaded not guilty.

Defense, Prosecution Disagree on Key Disputed Issues in Reza Zarrab Case

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Nov. 24 that the defense team and prosecutors failed to agree on a number of disputed issues in the case of Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab and former Halkbank deputy general manager Mehmet Hakan Atilla. The court in New York announced its ruling on a total of 10 issues that should be agreed on regarding the case ahead of the election of the jury on Nov. 27. Judge Richard Berman accepted one of seven demands from the prosecution while denying all three demands from Atilla’s lawyers.

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