Verdict Day for Hakan Atilla

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Click to read the article in Turkish

Summary judgement of Halkbanky Deputy General Director Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who has been charged with evading US sanctions against Iran, begins at 5 p.m. Turkey’s local time today (May 16).

Judge Richard Berman is expected to announce his verdict for Atilla today, who has been tried in New York South Federal Court and found guilty of five of six charges pressed against him.

Maximum 105 years in prison

Stressing that Atilla was found guilty over five different offenses, the prosecutor’s office demanded at least 188 months of imprisonment and fine of from 50 thousand to 500 hundred thousand dollars.

The petition submitted by the prosecutor's office read that the prison sentence may be increased to 105 years.

In their petition submitted to judge Richard Berman last month, Atilla’s lawyers delivered opinion that the prison sentence should be between 46-57 months.

İllüstrasyon: Elizabeth Williams/ AP

Process of the trial

  • * Reza Zarrab was arrested on December 21 within the scope of December 17-25 corruption and bribery investigation in Turkey. He was released after 70 days of imprisonment.

    * Zarrab had been taken into custody in Miami city airport while trying to enter the United States and arrested on March 22.

    * On his first hearing on April 27, Zarrab facing up to 95 years of imprisonment denied the accusations of conspiring to evade US sanctions against Iran, money laundering and bank fraud.

    * The other defendant in the trial, former Halkbank Deputy General Director Mehmet Hakan Atilla is being charged with “evading US sanctions on Iran” and “bank fraud”. Arrested on March 28, 2017, Atilla faced up to 50 years in prison and fine of 2 million dollars.

    * In September 2017, then Minister of Economy Zafer Çağlayan, former Halkbank General Director Süleyman Aslan, Halkbank Deputy General Director in Charge of International Operations Levent Balkan and Zarrab’s worker Abdullah Happani were added as defendants.

    * On October 26, Zarrab pleaded guilty and it was announced by the state attorney's office on November 28.

    * During the deposition, Zarrab admitted that he bribed then Minister of Economy Zafer Çağlayan and explained the business traffic he followed to evade embargo.

    * On January 3, 2018, jury members found Mehmet Hakan Atilla guilty of five of six charges.

    * Judge Richard Berman will announce his final verdict for Atilla in the hearing to be held on May 16, 2018.



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