Fethullah Gülen’s lawyers: Gülen movement has no link with Zarrab case in US

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

The lawyers of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen said on Tuesday that the Gülen movement has no link to the case of Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab in the US.

In a statement from @fgulenav Twitter account on Tuesday, Gülen’s lawyers has said that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government under the rule of Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and news reports in the pro-Erdoğan media aim at associating the Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab case carried out by the US Federal Judiciary to the Gülen movement.

Gülen’s lawyers said that “Gülen movement is a civic movement that embraces universal human values and the rule of law, and its sole attitude regarding the judicial process in Turkey or any country in the world, is demanding a trial according to the Universal Declaration and the European Convention on Human Rights. Apart from that, there cannot be any expectation or request.”

Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian gold trader whose prosecution in Manhattan has drawn sharp criticism from President Erdoğan, has pleaded guilty and has been cooperating with the American authorities, a federal prosecutor disclosed in court on Tuesday, according to a report by the New York Times.

Zarrab was the prime suspect in a major corruption investigation, which had also incriminated the his cabinet ministers and President Erdoğan’s family members, became public in December 17/25, 2013.  Turkish prosecutors accused Zarrab and high-ranking Turkish officials of involvement in facilitating Iranian money transfers via gold smuggling, leaked documents at the time showed.

President Erdoğan, then prime minister, cast that investigation as a coup attempt orchestrated by his political enemies. Several Turkish prosecutors were removed from the case, police investigators were reassigned, and the investigation was later dropped.

However, 9 people including Zarrab, Turkey’s Halkbank Deputy General Manager Mehmet Hakan Atilla, Turkish Economy Minister Mehmet Zafer Çağlayan and former Halkbank General Manager Süleyman Aslan have been criminally charged with conspiring to violate US sanctions on Iran in the case in New York.

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