Turkish banker convicted in US Iran sanctions evasion trial

Turkey-USA BreakupYesterday, Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla was found guilty by a federal jury in New York of conspiracy to violate US sanctions against Iran. The scheme consisted of a money-laundering network facilitated by Turkish state bank Halkbank, which allowed Iran to gain access to international markets in contravention of US sanctions. Although nine defendants had been charged in the case, Mr Atilla was the only one who stood trial (seven other defendants are still at large). Co-defendant Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian businessman, previously pleaded guilty in the scheme and gave evidence in the trial against Mr Atilla (see previous blog here).

Mr Atilla is scheduled to be sentenced on 11 April 2018, whilst Mr Zarrab’s sentencing has yet to be listed. Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a press release, describing the guilty verdict as an “unjust and unfortunate development”, see here.

This entry was posted in Iran, Turkey, USA by Maya Lester QC. Bookmark the permalink.

About Maya Lester QC

Maya Lester QC has a wide ranging practice in public law, European law, competition law, international law, human rights & civil liberties. She has a particular expertise in sanctions. As the most recent (2016) Chambers & Partners directory put it, she "owns the world of sanctions". She spent 2011-12 in New York at Columbia Law School lecturing and writing on sanctions. She represents and advises hundreds of companies and individuals before the European and English courts and has acted in most of the leading cases, including Kadi, Tay Za, Central Bank of Iran, NITC and IRISL.

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