Turkey slams USA court ruling against Turkish banker

Atilla sentenced to 32 months in US prison over evading Iran sanctions

The court in NY on Wednesday, may 16, sentenced Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla to 32 months in prison on charges of violation of United States sanctions against Iran. That time will count toward his sentence, and he may be freed early for good behaviour. That time will be credited toward his sentence, allowing him to return to Turkey in about a year.

The Turkish government did not immediately comment on the sentencing.

Zarrab, who was arrested in the U.S.in 2016 and accused of violating US sanctions on Iran, pleaded guilty in the case last October and cooperated with prosecutors. It has previously said that all of its transactions were lawful.

Judge Berman noted the feverish pitch of some observers of Atilla's trial, particularly in Turkey, when he promised to make a transcript of the sentencing available to the public later Wednesday.

Rocco agreed that leniency was justified.

Atilla sentenced to 32 months in US prison over evading Iran sanctions
Turkish banker sentenced for 32 months for role in scheme to help Iran avoid US sanctions

Cathy Fleming, another of Atilla's lawyers, read a brief statement by her client, translated from Turkish, asking for Berman's "understanding of the situation that I and my family are in".

Atilla was convicted by a NY jury on January 3 on five counts of bank fraud and conspiracy. His conviction followed a four-week trial in which Atilla testified in his own defense.

Turkish President Erdogan has said the U.S. case was based on evidence fabricated by followers of US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, who Ankara also accuses of carrying out the failed 2016 coup attempt.

He was one of nine people indicted in the case along with Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, who was initially the lead defendant before reaching a deal with USA authorities to become a star witness against Atilla.

"The court violated the law, it did not carry out a fair trial", Bekir Bozdag, the government's spokesman, said on Twitter. Insisting that Atilla, a deputy CEO who headed global banking at Halkbank, was "not guilty" of taking part in the alleged money laundering scheme, he added that declaring him as such was tantamount to criminalising the Turkish Republic. Earlier allegations of Mehmet Hakan Attila was subjected to criticism Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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