A picture of Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu boarding shady tycoon Sezgin Baran Korkmaz's plane has emerged.
The picture is dated 2017, news portal HalkTv reported on Nov. 28.
Soylu previously claimed that there were no available planes at the time, so that he was forced to rent a plane belonging to Korkmaz for $44,000.
Korkmaz was arrested in Austria in June at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice, which accuses him of laundering more than $133 million in tax fraud proceeds through a network of businesses he controls in Turkey. Prosecutors in Turkey want him in connection with the same alleged scheme and have launched extradition proceedings against him in an Austrian court.
Korkmaz denies the U.S. and Turkish government’s charges against him, with his lawyer saying that Korkmaz viewed the transfers of funds from his alleged co-conspirators in the U.S. as legitimate business transactions.
Mafia leader Sedat Peker previously claimed that Soylu warned Korkmaz to flee Turkey to avoid prosecution.
"Soylu told Korkmaz, 'An investigation was carried out into you. Go abroad,'" Peker said in a video on June 6.
Peker said that Korkmaz fled Turkey the next day, on Dec. 5, 2020, as a result.