US Jury to Decide Atilla's Fate in "Sanction Breaching" Case

Former deputy CEO of Turkish public bank Halkbank Mehmet Hakan Atilla completed his three-day testimony on Tuesday. He is facing a trial in which he is being accused of breaching US sanctions against Iran. Atilla became the only defendant in the case, after Reza Zarrab, who was the prime defendant, pleaded guilty and testified as a witness against the former banker, accusing him of the related crimes. “I did not conspire with anyone in any part of my life on that [evading sanctions],” Atilla responded to a question about whether or not he ever collaborated with Zarrab or anyone, on Friday during the first day of questioning by his lawyer.

What Is Atilla Case In the US About?

The US case against the Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab turned against Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the former deputy CEO of Turkey's Halkbank, after Zarrab pleaded guilty and made an agreement with the New York prosecutor’s office. A US prosecutor ordered the arrest of an Iranian-Turkish businessman in March 2016 for breaching US sanctions on Iran. After two months, those sanctions were lifted. Preet Bharara announced in a social media post, “Reza Zarrab to soon face American justice in a Manhattan courtroom.” Zarrab has been under arrest for more than 22 months, and has been accused of money laundering, and fraud against the US and its banking system. However, before the first day of his trial, his role was changed from a defendant to a witness.  

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