Turkish banker rejects accusations of evading sanctions

Mehmet Hakan Atilla, former Turkish banker, begins testifying on the 14th day of the trial

Turkish banker rejects accusations of evading sanctions

World Bulletin / News Desk

Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the former deputy CEO of Turkey’s state-run lender Halkbank, testified Friday, the 14th day of the trial in New York.

In his testimony, Atilla said he had not given false testimony to the FBI and "never" offered or accepted a bribe involving Turkish businessman Riza Sarraf.

In reply to defense attorney Cathy Fleming, Atilla said a wiretap of a call allegedly between him and Sarraf was actually held between Sarraf and another banker Hakan Aydogan.

Atilla said he was on a plane to Barcelona with no phone service the afternoon of April 10, 2013, the time of the phone call.

His testimony was confirmed by documents from Turkish Airlines showing that Atilla and his family were on the flight without phones.

"I never lied to FBI," said Atilla, who also said "never" answering questions by Fleming asking "Did you ever conspire with Reza Zarrab to evade sanctions or forge documents?"

Atilla said he was not the architect of a scheme of violations of U.S. sanctions.

When asked about his family, Atilla burst into tears and said he had not seen his family for 269 days.

Turkish businessman Sarraf was detained last year on charges of violating sanctions against Iran while Atilla was arrested in the U.S. earlier this year on similar sanctions and violations charges.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Aralık 2017, 10:10