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Rudy Giuliani ‘disingenuous’ in Turkish trader case, judge says

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, right, and

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, right, and ex-Attorney General Michael Mukasey have met with Turkey's president and tried to meet "U.S. government officials" to dispose of a case against a Turkish gold trader charged with evading Iran sanctions, Manhattan federal prosecutors said on March 31, 2017. Credit: AP

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani was “disingenuous” in an affidavit downplaying Iran sanctions charges against Turkish trader Reza Zarrab, a federal judge said Tuesday at a conflict of interest hearing on Giuliani’s controversial efforts to end the case with a diplomatic deal.

Manhattan U.S. District Judge Richard Berman said affidavits from Giuliani and former attorney general Michael Mukasey, which emphasized that Zarrab’s sanctions busting involved consumer goods and not weapons, underplayed the seriousness of the case.

“Most respectfully, the Giuliani and Mukasey affidavits appear surprisingly disingenuous in failing to mention the central role of Iran in the indictment, and indeed, failing to mention Iran at all in their affidavits,” Berman said.

“And also in . . . attempting to be dismissive of the transactions . . . as involving consumer goods,” he added. “They know very well that if the allegations are established by a jury, the defendant will be found to have committed serious felonies.”

Zarrab is a wealthy associate of Turkish leader Recep Erdogan, who has protested his imprisonment. Giuliani and Mukasey were hired to try to circumvent prosecutors and work out a deal between Turkey and the Trump administration for Zarrab’s freedom.

Giuliani’s and Mukasey’s law firms both represent banks that were allegedly misled in Zarrab’s scheme to help Iran break U.S. sanctions, and Giuliani’s firm also represents Turkey. Prosecutors have asked Berman to explore conflicts of interest in their roles.

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