ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The Latest on the upcoming trial of Bjian Kian, one-time business partner of former national security adviser Michael Flynn (all times local)
A spokesman for Turkey's president says U.S. prosecutors are off base in bringing a one-time business partner of former national Security adviser Michael Flynn to trial on charges that he illegally acted as a Turkish agent.
Bijan Kian is accused of hiding his ties to Turkey as he persuaded Flynn to write an op-ed piece critical of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen. Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, blames Gulen for a failed coup in that country and wants him extradited from the U.S.
In a statement to the Associated Press, presidential spokesman Fahrettin Altun said Friday that it's absurd to think that Turkey conspired against the U.S. He said that portraying Gulen as a victim in the alleged scheme is "beneath contempt."
Kian goes on trial Monday.
Prosecutors will have to go to trial Monday against the ex-business partner of former national security adviser Michael Flynn with no assurance they can present evidence of any kind from Flynn himself.
Court documents unsealed this week revealed prosecutors no longer plan to call Flynn to testify at the upcoming trial of Bijan Kian. Kian is accused of illegally working as an agent of the Turkish government.
At a hearing Friday in federal court in Alexandria, a judge told prosecutors they are also barred for now from telling jurors about Flynn's own guilty plea, in which he admitted to misconduct relevant to the case against Kian.
Defense lawyers also said Friday that prosecutors are now belatedly acknowledging that Kian was unaware of some actions taken by Flynn and another co-conspirator.