Turkey's state-owned lender Halkbank stated Thursday that the bank has not been a party to the Iran sanctions evasion case in the U.S., and there currently aren't any administrative or financial measures taken against the bank by the court.
A jury in New York found Halkbank's deputy general manager Mehmet Hakan Atilla guilty on five counts late Wednesday, while stating that he was innocent on money laundering charges.
In a statement posted on the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP), the bank said: "Our Bank's Deputy General Manager Mr. Mehmet Hakan Atilla has been convicted by the Jury for some of the crimes attributed to him at the first trial stage of the case in the United States. The legal process has not yet been concluded and Mr. Mehmet Hakan Atilla has the right to appeal against this decision.
As a matter of fact, neither has our Bank been a party to the case nor are there any administrative or financial decisions taken against our Bank by the Court.
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 the "Protection of Reputation" of the Banking Law.
Our Bank always adheres sensitively to national and international regulations in all its business and transactions and puts utmost effort to improve its compliance policy further within the framework of international standards.
No mechanism, method or system other than those in the existing regulations and those known to and followed by all other banks in foreign trade practices have been used by our Bank when offering banking services. The foreign trade transactions and money transfers are carried out in an open and transparent manner which can be monitored by the related authorities on the system. Our Bank is always going to maintain its policy of transparency in transactions and compliance to international regulations decisively.
We kindly bring to the public attention that our Bank, which has been providing services to the economy of our country for 80 years, is continuing its operations, and will to do so in the future, in accordance with national and international regulations in a strong, reliable and uninterrupted manner as it did in the past."
Atilla was being tried on breaching now-lifted U.S. sanctions against Iran. Turkish - Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab has accepted all the charges against him and agreed to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors as a witness against Atilla.
Zarrab was detained last year in Miami on charges of violating sanctions against Iran, while Atilla was arrested in the U.S. earlier this year on similar sanctions violations charges.