Turkish Man Wanted by US Seeks Release from Romanian Jail

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Turkish businessman sought by the United States on allegations he sold equipment to Iran’s military in violation of sanctions asked a Romanian court Thursday to free him from arrest.

Tavan Resit owns a Turkish-based company, Ramor Group, which the U.S. Treasury Department alleges provided marine power equipment to Iran’s navy.

He was arrested June 8 in Romania, where he had traveled to meet with U.S. officials. His lawyer, Catalin Predoiu, a former Romanian justice minister, said he went to Romania to deny any wrongdoing to the Americans.

Predoiu asked a court to transfer him to house arrest because of ill health. He also said that Romanian officials didn’t have a copy of the U.S. arrest warrant, as is required in extradition cases. He claimed his client hadn’t broken Romanian or Turkish laws.

The court, however, later ruled to keep him under arrest. The court approved the lawyers’ request to obtain information about the arrest warrant.

Resit has said the case concerns two yacht motors he sold to Iranians which can be used for military purposes.

Another lawyer, Mihai Mares, said a U.S. compliance officer in February approved the equipment that Resit’s company was intending to export.

On July 18, the U.S. Treasury Department put Resit on a list of people and groups that allegedly aided Iran’s military or its elite Revolutionary Guard.

A hearing on his possible extradition has been set for Sept. 21.

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