Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S., more commonly known as HALKBANK, the Turkish-government owned bank accused by the US of assisting in a massive Iran sanctions evasion programme, will apparently be filing a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has reportedly stayed the District Court criminal case, allowing the bank to seek redress in the High Court. Both the District Court (SDNY) and the Second Circuit held that the Sovereign Immunity Defence would not apply to the bank, under the Commercial Activities exception.
Given that the Government has secured the cooperation of the Iranian-Turkish dual national, REZA ZARRAB, and has had several years to accumulate documentary evidence, the outcome of any jury trial against the bank is fairly certain, although one can never predict what a judge or jury will do.
Given the established law on the Commercial Activities Exception to the FSIA, and the fact that the Court found that Halkbank qualified under all three categories, the bank's ploy with SCOTUS may only delay the inevitable trial in New York, which will probably impact the already poor relations between the United States and an increasingly authoritarian Turkey, now labouring under Strongman rule, as it ignores the Rule of Law.
When the petition has been filed, we will update our readers accordingly.