On the program called “Ne Oluyor?” (What’s Happening?) hosted by Şirin Payzın on CNN Türk last night (November 28), Republican People’s Party (CHP) Ankara MP Levent Gök shared a National Intelligence Agency (MİT) report dated 2013 on Rıza Sarraf.
Stating that the aforementioned document included information about Sarraf involving in corruption, Gök said that these documents were sent to then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as well and asked, “Does Erdoğan have the luxury to say ‘I didn’t know these points’?”
The report briefly read:
“It has been determined in intelligence information compiled from sensitive sources that Rıza Sarraf was in closely affiliated with Minister of Economy Zafer Çağlayan and Minister of Interior Muammer Güler; his brother Muammer Zarrab took steps to become a Turkish citizen; Rıza Sarraf brokered Iranian banks and figures that cannot transfer money to Turkey via banking system due to the embargo; these currencies were sent to certain companies operating in Dubai; these currencies transferred to Dubai were sent to Iran via these banks by-passing the embargo and in conclusion of implementing these decisions a bank in China and another one in India worked with Sarraf and Sarraf met with managers of Halk Bank and Ziraat Bank in 2013”.
Trial of Rıza Sarraf
Rıza Sarraf was arrested on December 21 within the scope of December 17-25 corruption and bribery investigation. He was released after 70 days of imprisonment.
Iranian businessperson Babek Zencani, pointed as Sarraf’s partner in Iran was sentenced to capital punishment on charge of corruption on March 6, 2016.
Zencani has companies in Turkey too. Kont Group Cosmetics in Beşiktaş district of İstanbul is one of them. Zencani is also allegedly linked with Onur Air. Zencani’s attorneys in the past few days had stated in the lawsuit they brought in İstanbul that Onur Air belongs to them.
Zencani is associated with Rıza Sarraf frequently during this period. In the report prepared by inspectors of the Ministry of Customs and Trade, a relation between the two has been mentioned.
On his first hearing on April 27, Sarraf facing up to 95 years of imprisonment denied the accusations of conspiring to evade US sanctions against Iran, money laundering and bank fraud.
On October 26, Sarraf pleaded guilty and it was announced by the state attorney's office on November 28. (EKN/TK)