Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Sunday, December 17, 2017

TURKISH BANKER IN IRAN OIL-FOR-GOLD SANCTIONS EVASION CASE SEEKS ACQUITTAL



Attorneys for Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the Halkbank Deputy CEO who is being tried, in the massive New York Federal Iran sanctions case, have moved for a Judgment of Acquittal*, asserting that the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction. Atilla is the only defendant, among many, who is actually in trial. The primary defendant, Reza Zarrab, one of the principals in the oil-for-gold billion dollar scheme, has changed his plea, and is cooperating with the Government.

 Counsel makes these points in their letter motion: (1) "All of the charges must be dismissed because the Government has failed to prove that Mr. Atilla knew of any US connection to Zarrab's scheme."
(2) "The conspiracy charges in Counts 1,2,4, and 6 must be dismissed on an alternative ground; because the Government has charged multiple conspiracies, on one of which Mr. Atilla, at best, has been shown to be a participant."

The US Attorney's Office has filed a response:

(A) "The evidence demonstrates that Atilla knowingly participated in conspiracies to violate US sanctions, defraud US financial institutions, and engage in Promotional Money Laundering."
(B) "Atilla's attack on Count One is meritless as a matter of Law and Fact."
(C) "The evidence shows that Atilla was part of a single conspiracy."

The Court has not yet ruled on the motion. We shall continue to update our readers on the progress of the trial.
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* The Government has rested. A prior defense motion, for a mistrial, was denied.

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