Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Two business partners of former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn were indicted Monday on illegal lobbying charges.
The charges say Bijan Kian conspired with Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin to illegally lobby U.S. officials and secure the extradition of Turkish cleric Fatullah Gulen from the United States to Turkey.
Kian appeared in Alexandria, Va., federal court Monday after the indictment was unsealed. He was allowed to leave on a recognizance bond, and must keep a probation office informed of his movements. Kian is scheduled to be formally arraigned on Tuesday.
Alptekin, who's in Turkey, is accused of directing and funding work by Kian and Flynn, and is charged with the same crimes as Kian. He is also charged with making false statements about his involvement in the lobbying effort.
Flynn is identified in the indictment as "Person A." The charges say the three were partners in a consulting firm hired to discredit Gulen. The indictment said Kian and Alpetkin concealed the role of the Turkish government in the campaign.
The Turkish government seeks the extradition of Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, because it believes he was behind a failed military coup in Turkey in 2016. The coup was followed by a purge of Gulen's alleged followers in Turkey's government, military and educational sectors.
Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday in a Washington federal court for making false statements to FBI agents.