NEW YORK — A lawyer for a Turkish businessman arrested on charges he helped Iran evade U.S. sanctions says the government illegally obtained access to his client’s cellphone.
Attorney Ben Brafman made the cellphone argument as he asked a Manhattan federal judge on Wednesday to toss out the indictment against Reza Zarrab (ZAYR’-ab), a well-known personality in Turkey.
A U.S. prosecutor said it’s common for U.S. Customs agents to request access to cellphones and Zarrab consented.
Zarrab has been held without bail since his March arrest at a Miami airport. He is charged with conspiring to process hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of financial transactions for Iranian businesses or Iran’s government. Authorities say those transactions are banned by U.S. and international sanctions.
Defense attorney Paul Clement argued Zarrab acted legally.