A federal judge will inquire further into whether former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey can represent a Turkish gold trader charged with conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman said at a hearing on Tuesday in Manhattan federal court that he will hold another hearing, likely later this month, into whether conflicts of interest prevent the two men from effectively representing the trader, Reza Zarrab.
Giuliani and Mukasey will not appear in court or help prepare for Zarrab’s trial, Benjamin Brafman, another of Zarrab’s lawyers, said at the hearing. Instead, he said, they are seeking a “diplomatic solution” to the case.
The two men traveled to Turkey shortly after Feb. 24 to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“No one was trying to hide their involvement,” Brafman said.
Zarrab is accused of conspiring to conduct illegal transactions through U.S. banks on behalf of Iran’s government and other Iranian entities. Prosecutors said in a court filing last week that eight of those banks were clients of Giuliani or Mukasey’s firms, and that Giuliani’s firm is a registered agent of Turkey, raising potential conflicts.