‘Turkey’ trial twist
Bizarre claim of rape in NYC jail
The government’s star witness in a trial that has angered the president of Turkey raped a cellmate with a cucumber while they were in lockup together, a shocking new lawsuit claims.
Reza Zarrab, 34, allegedly began raping and sexually abusing cellmate and friend Faouzi Jaber, 62, while they were detained at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, according to Jaber’s Manhattan Supreme Court suit filed Thursday.
Zarrab, a wealthy former pal of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, copped a plea and, against Erdogan’s wishes, agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in the trial of Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla.
The prison-rape allegations emerged on Zarrab’s last day of testimony in the Manhattan federal trial, where he has accused Atilla and other high-ranking Turkish officials, including Erdogan, of cooperating in a scheme to trade gold for oil to help Iran evade US sanctions.
“On two occasions, Zarrab raped Jaber with his penis and on several other occasions Zarrab rammed his finger into Jaber’s anus,” Jaber’s lawsuit said. “On one occasion, Zarrab inserted part of what [Jaber] believes was a cucumber in Jaber’s anus,” causing him to bleed, the suit claimed.
“Mr. Zarrab vigorously denies this outrageous and offensive allegation and will if necessary defend the action in court,” his criminaldefense lawyer, Ben Brafman, told The Post.
Erdogan has condemned Atilla’s trial as the work of a Muslim cleric living in Pennsylvania whom the president blamed for a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.
Jaber’s lawyer, Alexei Schacht, denied the suit was politically motivated.