Flynn associate arrested on illegal lobbying charges

18 December, 2018, 00:45 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • The new charges appear to shed light on the cooperation of Flynn who last year admitted to lying about several aspects of the lobbying work

Bijan Rafiekian, who also goes by the name Bijan Kian, made an initial appearance on Monday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Flynn pleaded guilty to a felony charge for those lies last December, but has more recently argued that he had been tricked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into lying about his contacts with Sergey Kislyak, who was the Russian ambassador to the United States at the time.

Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators in the Russian Federation probe past year, and who Mueller told a court has provided "substantial assistance" to the investigation, has been unsettlingly close to the Turkish government.

This story is breaking and will be updated. Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman, was also charged in the indictment, the filing shows. He conspired "covertly and unlawfully" to influence USA politicians and public opinion in favor of having Gulen extradited from the US back to Turkey, according to the indictment, which does not mention Gulen by name.

Flynn has been cooperating with prosecutors after he pleaded guilty to unrelated charges and is due to be sentenced this week. His case was connected to new charges unveiled on Monday against associates of Michael Flynn. Gulen was accused by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of orchestrating a failed coup. It accuses Kian and Alptekin of illegally lobbying in the U.S.to discredit Gulen and have him extradited.

The campaign led to a meeting on September 19 between Flynn, Kian, Alptekin, former CIA Director James Woolsey, and two Turkish government ministers: Foreign minister Mevlet Cavusoglu and energy minister (and Erdogan son-in-law) Berat Albayrak.


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The indictment against Mr Rafiekian states that he had served as vice chairman of Flynn's business group, the Flynn Intel Group, where he supervised much of the group's foreign political work for the Turkish interests.

Alptekin stands accused of directing and funding Kian and Flynn's work, and then lying in US filings about his role. Earlier this month, Mueller filed a long-awaited sentencing memo regarding his criminal case against Flynn and recommended the one-time Trump official not receive any prison time after providing prosecutors with "substantial assistance".

Flynn, a retired three-star general, pleaded guilty a year ago to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about conversations he had with the then-Russian ambassador.

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