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Halkbank exec sentenced to 32 months in prison over Iran sanctions

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Halkbank exec sentenced to 32 months in prison over Iran sanctions

A U.S. judge sentenced Türkiye Halk Bankasi AS Deputy Director General Mehmet Hakan Atilla to 32 months in prison for helping Iran evade sanctions, Bloomberg News reported.

U.S. prosecutors were seeking a minimum of 15 years in prison for Atilla, who was found guilty of conspiring with Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab and others to carry out illicit transactions on behalf of Iran. Atilla will receive credit for the 14 months he has already spent in jail, and he will not receive probation or a fine and will not have to pay any restitution.

Judge Richard Berman of the District Court for the Southern District of New York reportedly said Atilla's crime "appears to have been driven by loyalty to his career, employer Halkbank and to his country."

Turkey's foreign ministry called Atilla's case "an entirely feigned process which is inconsistent with the principle of fair trial."