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Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether members of the Trump campaign collaborated with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, recently recommended that Flynn avoid jail time due to his extensive cooperation with investigators.

Flynn, his company, and Inovo BV are not named in the indictment (pdf), but their identity can be discerned based on Flynn's Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) filing (pdf), lobbying disclosures with Congress (pdf), and the Dutch business registration for Inovo BV (pdf).

The Justice Department has resisted extraditing the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, because officials don't see evidence he had directed a coup in Turkey. The Turkish government claims Gulen, who is a United States resident, was the mastermind behind a failed coup in Turkey earlier that year.

Though Flynn and his company feature prominently in the latest indictment, he is not charged with any new crimes.

According to an indictment unsealed on Monday, Rafiekian conspired with Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin to illegally lobby USA government officials and influence public opinion in the United States against Gulen, the Washington Post reported.

A lawyer for Rafiekian, 66, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Alptekin has said the payments were refunds for unfulfilled work.

If that name sounds familiar, it may be from the now-infamous op-ed Flynn wrote for The Hill on Election Day 2016 headlined "Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support".

Alptekin is accused of directing and funding Kian and Flynn's work, and then lying in USA filings about his role, Reuters reported.

The indictment cites a July 29, 2016 email in which Alptekin told Rafiekian that a Turkish government minister was "interested in exploring this seriously and it is likely he'll want to meet with you and [Flynn]".

The indictment brought by federal prosecutors in Virginia accuses the two men of using Alptekin's company as a cutout to disguise the Turkish government's involvement. Flynn has denied these reports, but Turkey has had Gulen's follower rendered illegally back to its territory from other countries-including, most recently, Kosovo.

During an interview with the FBI, Alptekin said that while he had discussed the project with a Turkish government minister he chose to go ahead and retain the Flynn Intel Group himself after the Turkish government "dropped the ball". As part of the alleged scheme, Flynn Intel "was to kick back 20 percent of the payments to Alptekin's company in the Netherlands".

In mid-November, US media reported that Trump had instructed federal law enforcement agencies to examine legal ways he could extradite Gulen in order to get Turkey to ease its pressure on Saudi Arabia over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Flynn would become the first person to be charged in Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, although charges against Flynn are not related to colluding with Russian Federation, the core of special counsel probe.

The conspirators "sought to hide that the Government of Turkey was directing the work", according to the indictment.

Flynn is scheduled to appear for sentencing at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.


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