US Court Convicts Turkish Banker of Violating Iran Sanctions

US Court Convicts Turkish Banker of Violating Iran Sanctions

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim contradicted Turkish criticism of the prosecution, saying that the trial was fair and proved a conspiracy to violate sanctions under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). He said that in 2012 the Iranian government gave him explicit directions to conduct these illegal transactions.

"We would like to remind that to make news which discredit our bank and damage its reputation based on the decision of the jury regarding our deputy general manager about the judicial process which is not yet concluded would be against the principles of the article titled "Protection of Reputation" of the Banking Law", it said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin told reporters in a press conference that the whole trial at New York's Manhattan federal court was "a clear, scandalous political operation and plot against our nation". "The case has nothing to do with law, justice or trade, it's an acrobatic spectacle".

In remarks made during a meeting with media representatives in capital Ankara on Wednesday, Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke about certain foreign officials backing Iranian protests.

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 US financial dealings with oil-rich Iran, including many bank transactions.

Turkish officials have denounced a verdict handed down by a United States jury that found a Turkish banker guilty of evading sanctions on Iran that were imposed by Washington.

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Officials couldn't say what the ultimate impact will be on the legal industry or whether it will lead to more pot prosecutions. Thus, the question of whether marijuana is legal is one of the many issues reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment.

USA prosecutors have criminally charged nine people, though only Zarrab, 34, and Atilla, 47, have been arrested by US authorities. Atilla, Zarrab, and others conspired to create and use false and fraudulent documents to disguise prohibited transactions for Iran and make those transactions falsely appear as transactions involving food, thus falling within humanitarian exceptions to the sanctions regime.

The bank has denied any wrongdoing and said its transactions were in line with local and global regulations.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty on five out of six counts. He was acquitted of one count of money laundering.

Jurors in the US trial of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive at Turkey's majority state-owned Halkbank who is charged with helping Iran evade USA sanctions, asked in a note on Wednesday what they should do if they agree on some of the charges against Atilla but not others.

The 47-year-old faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced in April.

He testified that in 2010, when Iran began to feel the squeeze from USA sanctions for its nuclear drive the scheme began.

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