A former partner in the consultancy firm of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is asking a federal court for a new trial, claiming multiple issues, including weak evidence, prejudice, and a flawed indictment.
Bijan Rafiekian, former vice chair of the now-defunct Flynn Intel Group (FIG), was convicted on July 23 of lobbying in the United States on behalf of Turkey in 2016 without disclosing it to the U.S. government and of a separate count of a conspiracy to do so.
U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga seemed on the cusp of throwing the case out on July 18. He ultimately allowed it to proceed, but reserved his decision on the matter and set a hearing for Sept. 5, when he could still rule to acquit Rafiekian.
On Aug. 17, Rafiekian’s lawyers filed a memorandum, again calling on Trenga to throw out the case or at least to order a new trial.
They argued that Trenga already acknowledged the evidence was too weak when he ruled on July 9 to exclude from evidence hearsay statements of Rafiekian’s alleged co-conspirator, Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin. Trenga said then that prosecutors failed to establish the existence of a conspiracy by a preponderance of the evidence. more here