The prosecution’s star witness implicated Turkish President Recep Erdogan in a scheme to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran during a trial that has strained relations between the two countries.
Gold trader Reza Zarrab, the linchpin of a plan to secretly move Iranian money through U.S. banks in violation of American sanctions, has been on the stand since Wednesday at the trial of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive of Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank.
Zarrab was shown the transcript of a 2012 phone call between himself and an employee that was caught on a wiretap in which they discussed two other Turkish banks that he told the court “wanted to do Iranian business” using the same system he devised for Halkbank.
“The prime minister gave orders to Zirrat and Vakif as well,” Zarrab said on the phone call, referring to the other banks. Read more at NBC News.