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Jury members, who started their first consultations on December 20 to determine whether former Halkbank Deputy General Director Mehmet Hakan Atilla evaded US sanctions on Iran, came together yesterday (January 3) in Manhattan Federal Court following the recess.
The jury committee consisting of 12 people conveyed a note to Judge Richard Berman and asked “What should we do if we agree on some charges rather than all pressed against Hakan Atilla?”
Judge Berman announced that the jury members made their decision about all charges. According to the decision, Atilla was found guilty of five counts and acquitted of money laundering.
Hakan Atilla’s wife Burçin Atilla as well attended the summary judgement. Courthouse News reporter Adam Klasfeld reported that Burçin Atilla “cried and dashed away her tears” following the verdict.
U.S. Attorney’s statement on Atilla’s guilty verdict. pic.twitter.com/SIYaSTGixx— Benjamin Harvey (@BenjaminHarvey) 3 Ocak 2018
Six charges pressed against Atilla were as follows:
- Forming an organization to swindle US Department of Treasury
- Plotting to bypass the International Emergency Economic Powers Act
- Counterfeiting in banking system
- Plotting to counterfeit in banking system
- Plotting to launder money
- Money laundering
Trial of Reza Zarrab
Reza Zarrab was arrested on December 21 within the scope of December 17-25 corruption and bribery investigation. He was released after 70 days of imprisonment.
Iranian businessperson Babek Zencani, pointed as Zarrab's partner in Iran was sentenced to capital punishment on charge of corruption on March 6, 2016.
Zencani has companies in Turkey too. Kont Group Cosmetics in Beşiktaş district of İstanbul is one of them. Zencani is also allegedly linked with Onur Air. Zencani's attorneys in the past few days had stated in the lawsuit they brought in İstanbul that Onur Air belongs to them.
Zencani is associated with Reza Zarrab frequently during this period. In the report prepared by inspectors of the Ministry of Customs and Trade, a relation between the two has been mentioned.
Zarrab had been taken into custody in Miami city airport while trying to enter the United States and arrested on March 22.
On his first hearing on April 27, Zarrab facing up to 95 years of imprisonment denied the accusations of conspiring to evade US sanctions against Iran, money laundering and bank fraud.
On October 26, Zarrab pleaded guilty and it was announced by the state attorney's office on November 28.
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