Flynn’s former business partner seeks delay in Turkey lobbying trial

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Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for National Security Advisor, waits for an elevator in the lobby at Trump Tower, December 12, 2016 in New York City. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP

Lawyers for Bijan Rafiekian, the ex-business partner of former US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, said Thursday they want to delay the upcoming February criminal trial into whether their client covertly lobbied for Turkey, Reuters reported.

During a hearing in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Rafiekian’s attorney, Robert Trout, said he needs more time to review evidence turned over on Thursday morning and plans to ask the judge to move the trial from Feb. 11 to some time in September.

Rafiekian, a former US Export-Import Bank director and co-founder of the consultancy firm Flynn Intel Group, is facing charges that he covertly lobbied for Turkey to discredit and extradite Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen from the United States to Turkey.

He was indicted in December along with Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish-Dutch businessman, for failing to disclose their lobbying and lying about the nature of their work.

Rafiekian is facing two criminal counts, including acting as a foreign agent and conspiracy, while Alptekin is facing six.

Rafiekian has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and Alptekin has previously denied the allegations through a spokesperson.

As part of a plea deal, Flynn admitted to lying about his role in the Turkish lobbying effort.

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