Ex-Flynn business partner convicted on 2 counts

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A jury has convicted a one-time business partner of former national security adviser Michael Flynn on charges he illegally acted as a Turkish agent when he and Flynn undertook a project to discredit an exiled cleric wanted by Turkey’s government.

U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia spokesman Josh Stueve says the jury on Tuesday convicted Bijan Kian on charges of conspiracy and acting as a foreign agent.

The convictions came despite comments by the judge made outside the jury’s presence that the government’s evidence was weak.

The jury concluded that Kian worked to conceal Turkey’s involvement in the contract, which targeted Fethullah Gulen. The cleric is blamed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a failed coup there in 2016.

Prosecutors made their case without testimony from Flynn, who had initially been expected to be the government’s star witness.

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