Saturday, November 28, 2020

US judge refuses to halt prosecution of Turkey’s Halkbank for aiding Iran: report

Must read

Turkey’s judicial council rewards judges and prosecutors for their role in gov’t-led prosecutions: report

Turkey’s Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) on Friday named 11 judges and prosecutors, many of whom played critical roles in government-led prosecutions, as...

‘We have to take measures,’ says Erdoğan as opposition questions COVID death toll

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday said his government was obliged to take measures in the face of skyrocketing COVID-19 infections in the...

NATO’s reform plan to make veto more difficult likely to be blocked by Turkey

NATO-appointed experts on Wednesday presented to the foreign ministers of member countries a plan on reforming the alliance, including a proposal to make it...

Belgium’s highest criminal court will convene over Facebook posts insulting Gülen-linked residents

A court in Belgium on November 16 referred 14 Belgians of Turkish descent to the country's highest criminal court over Facebook comments targeting residents...

A federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday rejected a request by Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank to put on hold a federal prosecution accusing it of helping Iran evade US economic sanctions, Reuters reported.

US District Judge Richard Berman said Halkbank would not face irreparable harm if the case proceeded and that limiting its economic and reputational damage “may best be assured by Halkbank’s speedy response to the criminal charges.”

Berman also said the public had a strong interest in a “prompt adjudication” of Halkbank’s alleged role in a conspiracy to undermine the sanctions, including through the alleged transfer of $20 billion of otherwise restricted Iranian funds.

Halkbank has resisted entering a plea to the federal fraud and money laundering charges announced on Oct. 15.

The bank had asked Berman to stay the case until the federal appeals court in Manhattan decided whether it could make a “special appearance” to challenge the jurisdiction of US courts without first entering a plea.

Berman ruled on Dec. 5 that a plea should come first.

The charges threatened to complicate US-Turkish relations and were announced one day after US President Donald Trump sanctioned Turkey following its launch of a military offense against Kurdish-led militia in northeastern Syria.

US prosecutors alleged that from 2012 to 2016 Halkbank and its executives used money servicers and front companies in Iran, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to evade sanctions.

They also said Halkbank engaged in transactions on Iran’s behalf that would have exposed the bank to sanctions, including allowing revenue from oil and gas sales to be spent on gold, and facilitating sham purchases of food and medicine.

The US Department of Justice has charged nine people in the alleged scheme.

They included former Halkbank executive Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who was convicted in January 2018 after another defendant, wealthy Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, pleaded guilty and testified against him.

Atilla returned to Turkey this year after leaving prison, and was named general manager of the Istanbul stock exchange.

- Advertisement -

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article

Turkey’s judicial council rewards judges and prosecutors for their role in gov’t-led prosecutions: report

Turkey’s Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) on Friday named 11 judges and prosecutors, many of whom played critical roles in government-led prosecutions, as...

‘We have to take measures,’ says Erdoğan as opposition questions COVID death toll

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday said his government was obliged to take measures in the face of skyrocketing COVID-19 infections in the...

NATO’s reform plan to make veto more difficult likely to be blocked by Turkey

NATO-appointed experts on Wednesday presented to the foreign ministers of member countries a plan on reforming the alliance, including a proposal to make it...

Belgium’s highest criminal court will convene over Facebook posts insulting Gülen-linked residents

A court in Belgium on November 16 referred 14 Belgians of Turkish descent to the country's highest criminal court over Facebook comments targeting residents...

4 detained in police raid of Kurdish party branch, other locations in eastern Turkey

Four people were detained when Turkish police raided the provincial office of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and various other locations in the...