Turkish court issues arrest warrant in absentia for businessman Korkmaz

A Turkish court on Monday issued an arrest warrant in absentia for Sezgin Baran Korkmaz, A Turkish businessman with links to Utah-based business executives, who have pleaded guilty to a $511 million tax credit scheme in the United States, A Haber reported.

Prosecutors in December had issued a detention warrant against Korkmaz following a joint probe by Turkey’s financial crimes investigation and tax auditing authorities into an alleged $132 million money laundering scheme in Turkey.

The indictment for Korkmaz and nine other suspects, who worked at over the charges seeks their arrest for up to 10 years.

The Istanbul court ruled that given the ongoing trials of defendants Kingston and Termendzhyan in the United States, it would request a U.S. court order and a judicial instruction letter would be compiled to this end.

In December, warrants were also issued against 19 directors of companies owned by Korkmaz and 10 were detained for questioning in in Istanbul and three other cities. Only one of the 10 suspects in the case remains under arrest.

Suspects Kamil Feridun Özkaraman, Ayşe Nil Yılmaz, Bereket Öner, Ziyaettin Bartik and Doğa Doğan were present during the first trial of the hearing on Monday, A Haber said.

Korkmaz, whose SBK Holding owned now defunct Borajet airline, among other companies, was business partners with Jacob and Isaiah Kingson, the executives of a Salt Lake City biodiesel company, who pleaded guilty in the United States to half-billion-dollar tax credit scheme.

Korkmaz worked with the Kingston brothers, executives of a Salt Lake City-based biodiesel company, and has allegedly left the country with seven other suspects in the case despite a travel ban, according AP.

While there is no information available on his current whereabouts, Baran made an appearance in December, when he denied the charges against him in an interview by journalist Cüneyt Özdemir.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for 2022, A Haber said.