May 16 2018

Judge sentences Turkish banker to 32 months in prison

Turkish Banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla's sentencing trial has begun in New York's South District court, presided by federal judge Richard Berman.

The 47-year-old banker is the former executive of Halkbank, Turkey's largest government-owned public bank. 

Atilla has been an inmate of New York's Metropolitan Correctonal Center for about a year, and was found guilty in five of six accounts including fraud, conspiracy and violating the United States sanctions on Iran. 

The judge has already rejected the idea of a life sentence for Atilla this morning according to Courthouse News reporter Adam Klasfield's live tweets.

Judge Berman also stated that his thinking "is not to impose a guidelines sentence in this case, and to impose a sentence that is appropriately lenient."

Judge Berman added he has no intention to impose a fine on Atilla.

The prosecutors have begun to make their argument before the judge, following the defence. The U.S. prosecutor said, Atilla may be not "the" leader but "a" leader. "At the very least, this shows that Mr. Atilla was not a minor participant," the prosecutor said according to Klasfield..

The judge announces that he intends to to impose a sentence here of 32 months of incarceration with credit for time already served. Atilla already has served over 12 months in U.S. jails.