Turkish Banker Convicted Of Scheming To Aid Iran

Turkish Banker Convicted Of Scheming To Aid Iran

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman of the Southern District of NY presided over the case.

The Turkish foreign ministry called the verdict "unjust and unfortunate" and the trial an 'unprecedented interference in Turkey's internal affairs'.

Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a Turkish bank executive at majority state-owned Halkbank, was convicted by Manhattan federal court on five counts related to bank fraud and conspiracy to violate USA sanctions law on Wednesday.

The statement slammed the trial was based on evidence which was fake and open to political exploitation.

In a stock exchange filing, Halkbank said it was not a party in the us court case and that there was no administrative or financial decision taken against Halkbank by the court.

Zarrab testified that Atilla helped design fraudulent transactions of gold and food that allowed Iran to spend its oil and gas revenues overseas, including through USA financial institutions, defying US sanctions.

Atilla, 47, was found to have conspired with a gold trader, Reza Zarrab, and others to help Iran escape sanctions by disguising financial transactions as humanitarian food payments.

A jury on January 3 found Atilla, an executive at Turkish state-owned bank Halkbank, guilty of fraud and conspiracy, but he was found not guilty on a money-laundering charge. The paper also notes the court has prepared an "extradition request to be sent to the USA for the suspect".

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He was cleared of one count of money laundering.

The Turkish police officer, Huseyin Korkmaz, testified that he was a top investigator in a smuggling and bribery probe that led to the jailing of Zarrab and others in the sanctions scheme in 2013. Zarrab, who pleaded guilty, testified against Atilla.

Turkey has already requested that Gulen be extradited but US officials have said the USA would need to see credible evidence of his alleged crimes before sending him back home.

For his part, Turkey's government spokesman Bekir Bozdag said that his country opposes foreign intervention in any state or the attempt to carry out regime change through force or unconstitutional and unlawful means.

The ministry branded the United States ruling as "unfair and unfortunate", and "a shame of law", expressing hope that the decision would be reversed.

Atilla has denied all of the charges against him.

Atilla faces decades in a U.S. prison when he is set to be sentenced on April 11. Atilla's lawyer said his client was merely "a hapless pawn" in those deals, blaming Halkbank's client, Reza Zarrab, instead.

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