US judge: Indictment of Turkish businessman can go to trial
NEW YORK – A judge says the United States can continue to prosecute a Turkish businessman charged with helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions.
Federal Judge Richard Berman ruled Monday in Manhattan, rejecting a request by Reza Zarrab (ZAYR'-ab) to throw out charges. Zarrab is a well-known personality in Turkey who has pleaded not guilty. Zarrab has been held without bail since his March arrest at a Miami airport.
The 33-year-old resident of Turkey is charged with conspiring to process hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of financial transactions for Iranian businesses or Iran's government. Authorities say those transactions are banned by U.S. and international sanctions.
Defense attorney Paul Clement argued at a recent hearing before Berman that Zarrab acted legally. He called the prosecution unprecedented and a "radical expansion" of the law.