Sending a diplomatic note to the United States (US) in the evening hours yesterday (November 15), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey demanded information from relevant authorities about the situation of Rıza Sarraf, who is of Iranian origin and citizen of Turkey.
The Ministry in its official statement said that “Information has been requested from the US authorities but no response has been given yet”.
Sarraf has been in detention since March 2016
Detained as part of the “December 17-25 2013 bribe and corruption operation” and released shortly after in Turkey, Sarraf has been in detention on charge of bypassing American sanctions on Iran since March 2016.
Allegations that “he was released”
According to data on official website of the Bureau of Federal Prisons, Sarraf was released on November 8, 2017 and then nothing has been heard from him since then, and his lawyers said that they either didn’t have any information.
Following these statements, speculations about whereabouts of Sarraf have increased.
Jury trial is on November 27
Speaking to Hürriyet daily newspaper yesterday, Şeyda Yıldırım, one of the lawyers of Rıza Sarraf who is expected to attend the jury trial on November 27, said that “The claim that he was released is not true. He might have been transferred to another section. We haven’t been informed for five days”.
Erdoğan’s initial statement: It has nothing to do with our country
Answering to a journalist’s question shortly after Sarraf’s arrest, President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said, “It is about Rıza Sarraf. Mr. Rıza’s lawyers will give the required response and defend him.
“In fact, let me say it clear that this matter has nothing to do with our country”.
On return from the US: He is our citizen, not guilty
In a statement he made to the journalists on his return from New York following a visit to the US in September of the same year, Erdoğan referring to Sarraf said, “Since he is our citizen, we have to demand justice for him”.
"Besides, according to the statements made by our Ministries of Justice and Economy, he is innocent".
Erdoğan had said “What note, music note?”
Remarking on 11 Turkish army soldiers being detained by the US soldiers in Iraq in 2003, Erdoğan responded to the opposition demanding that diplomatic note be sent to the US:
"What note are you sending, music note?"
Zafer Çağlayan has been included in the file
New York Southern District Attorney had announced that four people including former Minister of Economy have been included as defendants in the case file in which Sarraf has been tried.
According to the official statement issued on the attorney’s official website, Çağlayan has been charged with illegal money transfer against embargo on Iran and “accepting millions of dollars of bribe”. (PT/EKN/TK)
Related bianet News
Bharara Points at December 17 Investigations to Object to Sarraf’s Release on Bail 26 May 2016Prosecutors who have demanded to reject Rıza Sarraf’s offer of release on bail ...
Turkey Added to ‘Places of Crimes’ in Rıza Sarraf Indictment 19 April 2016Prosecutor Preet Bharara has added the bill of indictment the expressions; “wherever these ...
Rıza Sarraf Arrested in US 22 March 2016Businessperson Rıza Sarraf of Iranian origin has been arrested in city of Miami, ...
Most Read Today
Freemuse Urges to Drop Charges Against Musician Tunç 11 December 2017
Call for Release of Deniz Yücel on 300th Day of His Arrest 11 December 2017