Trial of ex-Flynn business partner allowed to go forward

FILE - In a Dec. 17, 2018 file photo, Bijan Kian leaves the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington. Kian is accused of illegally acting as an agent of the Turkish government. In opening statements at Kian’s trial Monday, July 15, 2019 in Alexandria, prosecutors say Kian , a one-time business partner of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, lied to hide the fact that he and Flynn were secretly working on behalf of the Turkish government to advance its agenda. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A judge is allowing the trial of a one-time business partner of former national security adviser Michael Flynn to go forward even though he says the evidence is weak.

Prosecutors rested their case Thursday in the trial of Bijan Kian . He is accused of failing to register as a Turkish foreign agent when he and Flynn undertook a contract to discredit Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who has drawn the ire of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Defense lawyers moved to have the case dismissed. They say the evidence shows Kian and Flynn's work to discredit Gulen was at the behest of a private business. Prosecutors say the business served as a middleman to obfuscate Turkey's involvement.

The judge reserved ruling on the motion to dismiss but said the government's case suffers from "very substantial issues" with the evidence.