Hakan Atilla’s acquittal request denied by US court
NEW YORK – Anadolu Agency
A judge in New York on Feb. 7 turned down the request by former Turkish state banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla to be acquitted of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Trial judge Richard Berman turned down the request by Atilla, former deputy CEO of Halkbank, saying there was “sufficient evidence” supporting the charges.
Before Atilla was sentenced, his lawyers on Dec. 15 sought the dismissal of all accusations against their client and his acquittal, saying the prosecutor was unable to prove that Atilla had a connection to the crime committed by Turkish businessman Rıza Zarrab.
On Jan. 3. Atilla was found guilty by a jury on five charges related to conspiracy and bank fraud but was acquitted of money laundering.
Atilla’s next hearing is set for April 11.
Zarrab, who was arrested in the U.S. in March 2016, accused of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran, had pleaded guilty in the case last October and cooperated with prosecutors.
Atilla was tried as the only defendant in the case.