The legal team of Reza Zarrab, which includes former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, is negotiating over the heads of the prosecution and the judge, in order to push for a resolution for the his charges.
Reza Zarrab, 33, who is a wealthy and influential gold trader from Turkey, was charged with planning to infringe on the United States sanctions on Iran, according to The New York Times.
Zarrab recently added former New York City mayor, Rudolph W. Giuliani and Michael B. Mukasey—former attorney general for president George W. Bush— to his legal team in order to negotiate the resolution of his charges. However, Mr. Giuliani, who is close to President Donald Trump, and Mr. Mukasey have gone over the prosecution’s head in order to make this happen.
Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Mukasey have met with Trump administration officials and have traveled to Turkey to meet with the President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is also heavily involved with the case, according to The New York Times.
Since President Trump has been elected, Turkey and the U.S have been “warming” their ties, but the prosecution of Zarrab has been criticized openly by Mr. Erdogan stating that the prosecution has “malicious” intentions, says The New York Times.
The New York Times reported that Benjamin Brafman, one of Mr. Zarrab’s lawyers, as well as the prosecution, had wrote letters to the judge, in order to question the other side’s approach toward the case.
These letters clearly revealed Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Mukasey’s role within the case as being potential conflicts of interest, according to The New York Times.
The letters disclosed that Mr. Mukasey had told current Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, and Mr. Giuliani had told the U.S attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, about their intentional trip to Turkey, states The New York Times.
Another conflict that the letters brought up, was the fact that both Mr. Giuliani’s and Mr. Mukasey’s law firm’s acted on behalf of banks which were victims of of the case, according to The New York Times.
“Neither the government nor even the court most respectfully has the right to know precisely what their [Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Mukasey ] role(s) are or may be in the future,” Mr. Brafman said while referring to attorney-client privilege.
The office of Joon H. Kim—the new U.S attorney in Manhattan after Mr. Bharara was terminated by the Trump administration —sent a letter which confirmed that Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Mukasey visited Turkey “to discuss a possible disposition” of the charges and that they had “sought to meet other officials in the U.S. government outside of this office” in order to discuss a resolution for the case, says The New York Times.
Both the prosecution and the defense have declined to comment on this issue of the case.
By Eloise Albaret