A former business partner of Michael Flynn is being charged with acting as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy for attempting to have Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen extradited from the United States, The Washington Post reported.
Bijan Kian made his first appearance in Alexandria federal court Monday morning. According to the indictment, Kian conspired with Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin to illegally lobby US government officials and influence public opinion in the US against Gülen.
Turkish businessman Alptekin is accused of directing and funding Kian and Flynn’s work, and then lying in US filings about his role. He is charged with the same crimes as Kian as well as making false statements, but he remains in Turkey.
Flynn, who served as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser during his first weeks in office, is identified in the indictment as “Person A.” Flynn is soon to be sentenced for lying to FBI agents as part of the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Prosecutors asked for no prison time for Flynn, citing his “substantial assistance.”
The Turkish government accuses Gülen, who is living in exile in Pennsylvania, of instigating a failed coup in 2016.
“I just finished in Ankara after several meetings today” with Turkish ministers, Alptekin wrote to Rafiekian and Flynn, according to the indictment. “I have a green light to discuss confidentiality, budget, and the scope of the contract.”
Kian was allowed out on a personal recognizance bond, with the only condition that he keep the probation office abreast of his movements. Defense attorney Robert Trout told a magistrate judge Kian was currently in the process of relocating from California to the D.C. area. Trout declined to comment after the proceeding.