Today: 17.08.2018
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Star witness in Iran case sexually brutalized his cellmate: lawsuit.

The government’s ​star witness in an Iran sanctions case with ties to ​Turkish ​President Recep Erdogan ​sexually brutalized his cellmate ​in a Manhattan federal lockup, according to a shocking new lawsuit. Faouzi Jaber, 62, an Ivory Coast native awaiting sentencing in a federal weapons and drugs case, says in his Manhattan Supreme ​civil ​suit that...
Time: 15:31     Date: 07.12.2017
Last US News: Star witness in Iran case sexually brutalized his cellmate: lawsuit. NY Post 24 - US News

Faouzi Jaber, 62, an Ivory Coast native awaiting sentencing in a federal weapons and drugs case, says in his Manhattan Supreme ​civil ​suit that he was cellmates with Reza Zarrab, 34, from 2016 through this past spring.

Zarrab is a rich former pal of Erdogan who copped a plea and agreed to cooperate with Manhattan feds ​in their case​against a Turkish banker — ​defying Erdogan’s wishes.

Jaber’s suit says Zarrab, a wealthy gold trader, first befriended him in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center based on their shared Shia Muslim faith. He also sent money to Zarrab’s family, paid for a private defense attorney and deposited cash in his commissary account​, says the suit, filed Thursday​.

But the relationship turned sour when Zarrab started sticking his finger in Jaber’s anus, according to the lawsuit filed by ​Jaber’s lawyer ​Alexei Schacht.

Zarrab also raped him twice, the lawsuit ​alleges.

Jaber, a cancer survivor with a heart condition, “felt helpless and unable to fight off the younger and stronger defendant,” suit says.

Their small cell “became a kind of a torture chamber” where Zarrab allegedly shoved a cucumber into Jaber’s anus in March, causing him to bleed from his rectum.

The latest incident, on March 8​, resulted in complaints from both Jaber and other inmates, who heard ​him “yelling and making noise” following an ​alleged ​attack by Zarrab, the lawsuit said.

That prompted prison officials to move Zarrab to solitary confinement, ​the suit claims.

Faouzi JaberAP

“Mr. Zarrab vigorously denies this outrageous and offensive allegation and will if necessary defend the action in court,” his ​criminal defense ​lawyer Ben Brafman told The Post.

Zarrab is currently the key witness in a Manhattan federal trial against Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive of Turkish-government owned bank Halkbank whom Zarrab allegedly worked with to help Iran launder money.

His cooperation with the US has angered Erdoğan, who has has stated publicly that Atilla’s trial is being orchestrated by his political enemies, including a Muslim cleric accused of orchestrating a coup against him last year.

Zarrab has testified that he bribed Turkey’s former economy minister and that Erdoğan approved of a scheme to help Iran avoid US and UK sanctions.

​Asked if the suit was prompted by anyone seeking to embarrass ​or discredit Zarrab, Shacht said, “This has nothing to do with Turkey. I have nothing to with Turke​y.”​

“The timing of this is coincidental,” he said.

Zarrab has confessed to bribing US prison guards in exchange for booze and cell phones.

Indeed, his Oct. 16th guilty plea for violating US sanctions against Iran includes one count of bribery tied to his time at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Manhattan.

From 2016 to June 2017, Zarrab​​ “paid correction officers” in New York “to smuggle contraband, including cellphones and alcohol into the jail for him,” according to court documents released last month.

​Erdogan has condemned the prosecution and on Saturday proclaimed, “My country can never be condemned by virtual courts set up by FETO (Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation) scoundrels, fake representatives​.” ​

And before Zarrab was revealed to be a government cooperator, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister ​in November called him a “hostage” of the ​US government.

The Manhattan US Attorney’s office declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Metro

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Living

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Business

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Metro

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Sport

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