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.

Reza Zarrab Testifies for Seven Days in "US Against Atilla" Case

On November 28, US prosecutors on “the US against Reza Zarrab” case revealed that Zarrab had gone from being a defendant in the case to a witness. Zarrab, a businessman who holds both Iranian and Turkish citizenship, made an agreement with the prosecutor’s office and pleaded guilty. He put former deputy CEO of Turkish state-run Halkbank at the centre of all accusations. “By testifying against Mehmet [Hakan] Atilla, Zarrab hopes he can buy freedom, a shortcut back to his lavish life with the rich and famous. He’s a liar, a cheater, a corrupter of men on a staggering scale…a one-man crime wave,” said Victor Rocco, the attorney of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who has denied any wrongdoing. Zarrab’s testimony started in Federal District Court in Manhattan the following day on December 29.

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