Halkbank requests stay of legal proceedings until higher court's ruling

Halkbank has requested a district court in New York on Thursday to stay all proceedings against the bank in a money laundering and sanctions evasion case until a higher court decides its petition for a special appearance.

U.S. Federal Judge Richard Berman earlier this month rejected an appeal by Andrew Hruska from law firm King & Spalding to enter a special appearance on behalf of Halkbank in the case for allegedly helping Iran evade U.S. economic sanctions.

Following Berman's rejection, Hruska asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to allow its lawyers to enter a special appearance in the case without acknowledging the charges against the bank.



And, Hruska on Tuesday told Berman that all proceedings against the bank should be stayed to avoid “irreparable harm” while its petition is pending. 

"The Bank respectfully requests that this Court stay all proceedings, including the show cause briefing, hearing, and the subsequent arraignment, pending a decision by the Second Circuit on the Bank's mandamus petition," Hruska said in a letter to Judge Berman.

Berman requested the government to respond to the stay motion until Thursday by 5 p.m.

Halkbank on Dec. 6 said it will utilise all its legal rights to stop the legal proceedings in the United States against it, citing lack of neutrality of the judge presiding over the case, Richard Berman.

Judge Berman on Dec. 5 ruled that Halkbank must enter a formal plea to charges that it helped Iran evade sanctions before it can challenge a U.S. court’s ability to hear the case.

Former bank executive Mehmet Hakan Atilla served 32 months in a U.S. prison for running the evasion scheme that allowed the Iranian government to spend money abroad using fraudulent food and gold transactions through Halkbank.