ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Two men involved in a Turkish lobbying campaign led by former National Security adviser Michael Flynn have been charged with illegally lobbying in a case related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The case unsealed Monday against Flynn’s former business partner, Bijan Kian, and Turkish businessman, Ekim Alptekin, accuses the two men of conspiring to “covertly and unlawfully” influence U.S. politicians on behalf of Turkey.
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. In recommending he serve no prison time, prosecutors said Flynn not only helped with the Russia probe but also an undisclosed — and separate — criminal investigation. Documents filed alongside that recommendation spend several paragraphs laying out the details of Flynn’s Turkish lobbying.
Kian, whose full name is Bijan Rafiekian, was arrested and made an initial appearance Monday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. He is indicted on charges including failing to register as a foreign agent. Alptekin, a dual Turkish-Dutch citizen living in Istanbul whose full name is Kamil Ekim Alpetekin, remains at large.
According to the indictment, Kian was vice chairman of Flynn’s business group, the Flynn Intel Group. The two worked throughout 2016 to seek ways to have cleric Fethullah Gulen extradited from the U.S. to Turkey.
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