Turkish banker convicted for helping Iran evade USA sanctions

12 January, 2018, 19:37 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Turkey says US conviction of banker is interference in internal affairs

President Erdogan expressed support for Tehran and said that Turkey regarded Iran's stability and security as that of its own.

"Based on the so-called 'evidence, ' which are forged and susceptible to political manipulation, and dwelling on Turkey's internal affairs on a fictitious basis, the United States court has been drawn into Turkey's domestic affairs in an unprecedented way", a press release on the ministry's website read.

The statement slammed the trial was based on evidence which was fake and open to political exploitation.

Halkbank also said that Banker Atilla has right to appeal against us court decision, adding that bank always adheres sensitively to national and worldwide regulations in all its business and transactions.

In the decades after the Iranian hostage crisis, in which 52 Americans were held captive from 1979 to 1981, the United States imposed increasingly stiffer sanctions prohibiting virtually all USA financial dealings with oil-rich Iran, including many bank transactions.

U.S. prosecutors have charged nine people in the case, but only Atilla and Zarrab are known to be in United States custody.

About the call of US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley on Wednesday for a UN Security Council meeting on the protests, Cavusoglu said the USA brought this to the worldwide arena because "they are strongly opposed to the Iranian administration".

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He was cleared of one count of money laundering.

In his testimony in November, Zarrab implicated Mr Erdogan in global money-laundering scheme, which he and Atilla ran between 2010 and 2015, saying the president personally approved sanction-breaking deals. Zarrab testified at the trial that Erdogan had ordered the transactions go forward. Erdogan has publicly dismissed the case as a politically motivated attack on his government. Turkey in turn accuses European Union nations of not supporting it in its struggle against the movement led by U.S. -based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom it blames for the coup.

As the trial unfolded in New York, Turkey's official media said prosecutors there had demanded the seizure of Zarrab's assets as part of an investigation into claims he spied for a foreign country.

In this context, the Turkish Foreign Ministry called Tuesday on the Iranian government to act with wisdom to prevent the escalation of events and avoid external interventions in Iranian affairs.

Atilla's sentencing is scheduled for April 11, while Zarrab's date is not yet planned.

"The case is not a plot against America, it's a plot against Turkey", Erdogan told supporters in a speech on December 5.

Federal prosecutors in NY, who regularly bring sanctions-busting charges, have said such suggestions are ludicrous.

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