Flynn Associates Indicted in Plot to Push Extradition of Erdogan Foe

Flynn Associates Indicted in Plot to Push Extradition of Erdogan Foe

Flynn Associates Indicted in Plot to Push Extradition of Erdogan Foe

The indictment of Bijan Kian and Ekim Alptekin on charges for failing to register as foreign agents and making false statements shed light on the Ankara-backed lobbying campaign that was aimed primarily at extraditing Turkish preacher Fetullah Gulen to Turkey, where he stands accused of organizing a July 2016 coup attempt.

Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman, was also charged in the indictment for allegedly plotting to discredit and cause the extradition of Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen who lives in exile in the United States.

Flynn was charged by Mueller for lying to investigators previous year, including about his work at the Flynn Intel Group Inc. on behalf of Turkey.

This is breaking news.

Alptekin, who resides in Istanbul, has not been arrested. They worked on the lobbying project as late as October 2016, a month before Trump won the election and Flynn helped with the presidential transition.

In August 2016, Flynn Intel signed a $600,000 contract with Inovo BV, a Dutch shell company operated by Alptekin, whose trade group is indirectly controlled by the Turkish government.

Shortly after receiving the go-ahead from the Turkish government, Rafiekian, and Alptekin took steps to hide the source of funds and influence, renaming the lobbying project from "Project Freedom" to "Operation Confidence" and establishing a payment arrangement where Inovo BV would wire a total of $600,000 to Flynn Intel Group, with Alptekin receiving 20 percent as a kickback, the prosecutors allege.

At that meeting they discussed physically removing Gulen from his Pennsylvania home to Turkey without a legal extradition order.

More news: Apple to issue software update to avoid Chinese iPhone sales ban

Rafiekian, a former director at the U.S. Export-Import Bank and a co-founder of the Flynn Intel Group (FIG), the consultancy at the heart of the case, made his first appearance on Monday morning at a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

The discussions revolved around signing an agreement with Flynn Intel Group, a private consulting and lobbying company that Flynn owns.

Kian's lawyer, Robert Trout, declined comment after today's hearing. Kian, according to prosecutors, in response produced a draft of the op-ed, which compared Gulen to Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini and argued the US should not provide a "safe haven" for the cleric.

The DOJ opened an investigation into Flynn's company after the op-ed was published.

If that name sounds familiar, it may be from the now-infamous op-ed Flynn wrote for The Hill on Election Day 2016 headlined "Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support". The indictment notes that Flynn's column uses identical or very similar language to that prepared by Kian in a draft op-ed.

"We all remember another quiet, bearded, elder cleric who sat under an apple tree in Neauphle-le-Château in the suburbs of Paris in 1978", Flynn said in the article. That undercuts Alptekin's claims to The Daily Caller that he would have advised Flynn against writing the op-ed.

On Nov. 8, 2016 - the day of the USA presidential election - an op-ed appeared in The Hill newspaper under Flynn's byline that repeated Kian's "apple tree" language, comparing Gulen with Khomeini.

"The arrow has left the bow!"

Related news