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Erdogan compares Sarraf case to 2013 plot against govt

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday compared the case of Riza Sarraf -- a Turkish businessman jailed in the U.S. pending trial -- to the Dec. 17-25, 2013 plot against government ministers and leading businesspeople. infroms citing Turkish media that speaking to the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's lawmakers in the parliament, Erdogan recalled that one of most important plots in history was set up against Turkey nearly four years ago.

He was referring to a so-called graft probe against top government officials to overthrow Turkey’s elected government followed by a large-scale raid on Dec. 17-25, 2013, which led to the detention of prominent figures.

The government denounced the probe as a plot by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization's (FETO) U.S.-based-leader Fetullah Gulen, who orchestrated the July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt in Turkey that left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

"When this plot failed, they set up the same plot in the U.S.," Erdogan said.

Sarraf was arrested last year on alleged fraud and Iran sanctions-related charges.

Turkey has recently launched a probe into two American lawyers, including a former attorney and a current attorney in the U.S. who are currently involved in a case against Turkish citizens in New York.

The Public Prosecutor's Office in Istanbul on Saturday accused former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara and current U.S. attorney Joon H. Kim for the southern district of New York of using information and documents from previous investigations in Turkey for an ongoing case in the U.S.

Bharara, who had launched a probe against Turkish businessman Riza Sarraf, was fired on March 11.

Joon H. Kim is the acting United States Attorney for the southern district of New York.

2017.11.21 / 15:12
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