Second day of jury deliberation for Turkish banker ends with no verdict

Second day of jury deliberation for Turkish banker ends with no verdict

NEW YORK - Reuters
Second day of jury deliberation for Turkish banker ends with no verdict

A New York jury on Dec. 21 ended its second day of deliberations without a verdict in the trial of a Turkish banker accused of helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions.

The jury had begun deliberating on Dec. 20 following the three-week trial of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive at Turkey’s majority state-owned Halkbank.

The trial featured testimony from Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, who pleaded guilty to charges of violating sanctions and testified for U.S. prosecutors, and from Hüseyin Korkmaz, a former Turkish police officer who said he investigated Zarrab in 2012 and 2013.

Jurors on Dec. 21 sent notes asking to review a part of Korkmaz’s testimony. They have also asked for clarification of a part of U.S. District Judge Richard Berman’s legal instructions. The jurors are expected to resume deliberations on Dec. 22.

Zarrab testified that Atilla helped design fraudulent transactions of gold and food that allowed Iran to spend its oil and gas revenues abroad, including through U.S. financial institutions, defying U.S. sanctions.

Korkmaz testified that he was jailed in retaliation for his investigation and eventually fled Turkey last year.

An Istanbul prosecutor has issued arrest warrants for Korkmaz’s parents.

Korkmaz testified that he left some evidence from his investigation with his mother.

Atilla, testifying in his own defense at the trial, denied all the charges against him.

Halkbank has denied taking part in any illegal transactions.

U.S. prosecutors charged nine people in the criminal case, though only Zarrab, 34, and Atilla, 47, were arrested by U.S. authorities.

Turkey, united states , Halkbank, Hakan Atilla, Zarrab