Flynn Associates Indicted for Acting as Unregistered Foreign Agents

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The Department of Justice on Monday unsealed the indictments of 66-year-old Californian Bijan Rafiekian (also known as Bijan Kian) and 41-year-old Turkish-Dutch national Kamil Ekim Alptekin. Both face a maximum of 15 years if convicted on those charges, but Alptekin was also charged for lying. Kian appeared in federal court, while Alptekin remains overseas.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Throughout the project, the indictment alleges, Alptekin would hold weekly phone calls with Flynn and would then report back and consult with the Turkish government. 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.

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn left the federal courthouse in Washington, July 10, following a status hearing.

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has accused Gülen of directing a failed coup in the country.

Flynn, who pleaded guilty in that case, has been cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigations.

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"The defendants sought to discredit and delegitimize the Turkish citizen in the eyes of politicians and the public, and ultimately to secure the Turkish citizen's extradition", the filing, which says that Mr Rafjekian and Mr Alptekin sought to hide the fact that Turkish sources paid the Flynn Intel Group by naming Mr Alptekin as a client, states.

Flynn is referred to in the indictment only as "Person A".

According to some reports, the question about whether to extradite Gulen may remain a live issue within the Trump administration.

Former Flynn business partner Bijan Rafiekian ― aka Bijan Kian ― and Turkish businessman Kamil Alptekin were named in a December 12 indictment alleging illegal work in the United States on behalf of the government of Turkey.

On Sunday, Reuters quoted Turkey's foreign minister claiming that President Donald Trump had told his Turkish counterpart that the USA was considering the extradition request.

In a memo sent ahead of his upcoming sentencing, Flynn's lawyers have argued that their client should be given a lenient sentence because Federal Bureau of Investigation agents did not inform him ahead of time that lying to investigators is illegal - and that he did not know that he was being formally investigated.

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