Zarrab Says He Paid $45,000 Bribe to US Prison Guard

Reza Zarrab said on Tuesday that he paid a $45,000 bribe to a US prison guard to obtain alcohol and use the guard's phone to speak with his wife, daughter and lawyer. During a hearing at a Manhattan court in the trial of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, Zarrab who is cooperating with US prosecutors, testified that he got the money through a Turkish attorney whom he did not identify. The US Bureau of Prisons could not immediately be reached for comment. Zarrab is the key US government witness in its case against Atilla, an executive at Turkey's Halkbank who is charged with scheming to violate US sanctions against Iran. He has pleaded not guilty. Zarrab testified on Tuesday under cross-examination by Atilla's attorney, Cathy Fleming, that he and Atilla did not like each other.

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