Turkey rejects USA court ruling on Turkish banker

Outrage in Istanbul over conviction of banker who helped Iran evade sanctions

Turkey's ties with the United States were further strained on Thursday after Ankara described a NY court's decision to convict a Turkish banker over a massive scheme to help Iran evade American sanctions as a "political attack". Seven of the co-defendants remain at large, but one of them, Reza Zarrab, pleaded guilty and testified for the prosecution, implicating Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and helping prove Atilla guilty. "You will not be able to deceive us, you should know that", he added.

Flynn is reportedly under investigation for a conspiracy to kidnap a Turkish dissident living in the U.S.in exchange for $15 million from the Turkish government and Zarrab's release. Later on Wednesday, Atilla was convicted on charges that he took part in a complex scheme where Iran traded its oil and gas for gold, with some of the proceeds moved through US financial institutions without their knowledge.

Cathy Fleming, one of Atilla's lawyers, said they planned to appeal.

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Referring to Western media reports and remarks made by certain United States and Israeli officials with respect to the protests, the Turkish president said his country was familiar with the West's media propaganda campaign and "hackneyed, meddlesome" comments by the U.S. president and Israeli prime minister. "The case has nothing to do with law, justice or trade, it's an acrobatic spectacle".

Turkey's Halkbank on Thursday said it continues to adhere to all national and worldwide regulations as it clarified that a USA court's verdict involving its former employee was not a ruling on the bank itself.

They acquitted Atilla on a single money laundering count, but convicted him on five conspiracy and bank fraud counts.

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The trial was closely followed by a cadre of Turkish journalists and their readers back home, and after Wednesday's verdict Kim pointedly noted that the conviction had followed a "full fair and open trial" that aired both the "brazen" sanctions plot and alleged official misconduct.

The bank underlined that Halkbank always adheres to national and worldwide regulations in all its business and transactions, and also puts utmost effort to improve its compliance policy further within the framework of global standards.

He testified that in 2010, when Iran began to feel the squeeze from US sanctions for its nuclear drive the scheme began. The conspiracy to violate the IEEPA and money laundering conspiracy counts each carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Atilla is scheduled to be sentenced on April 11, before Judge Berman.

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