Turkish banker Hakan Atilla not to file new application for acquittal

Turkish banker Hakan Atilla not to file new application for acquittal

NEW YORK
Turkish banker Hakan Atilla not to file new application for acquittal

Hakan Atilla, the former deputy chief executive officer of Turkish state lender Halkbank, has said he will not file another application for his acquittal, after a New York court found him guilty early in January on five charges related to conspiracy and bank fraud.

Atilla’s defense team said in a petition letter submitted to the court on Jan. 25 that they only want Judge Richard Berman to evaluate the application they filed on Dec. 15, 2017, demanding that all charges against the defendant be dropped due to a lack of evidence, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

On Dec. 15, 2017, Atilla, 47, denied charges that he participated in a scheme to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions and demanded to be acquitted of the case. The court has not yet released his ruling on Atilla’s demand, but following the jury’s verdict on Jan. 3 finding Atilla guilty on a number of charges, the defense team said it could renew its demand for the defendant’s acquittal with a fresh petition letter.

However, on Jan. 25 the defense team said it would not be renewing its demand. In return, Judge Berman said a new trial would be held on Feb. 6 to determine whether Atilla had given up on his right to file another application knowingly and willfully.

Atilla was arrested after visiting the U.S. last March on a business trip. Prosecutors had accused Atilla of conspiring with gold trader Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab and others to help Iran escape sanctions using fraudulent gold and food transactions.

Zarrab pleaded guilty and testified for the prosecutors.

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

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