Turkey prepares for new trials after Halkbank verdict, newspaper says

After the guilty verdict handed down to Turkish state-run lender Halkbank’s former deputy CEO Hakan Atilla, Turkey's government is bracing itself for a “series of trials” based on the precedent, Hürriyet newspaper reported.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said the U.S. is ‘threatening’ Turkey through the trial of Atilla, and ‘making grounds’ for new legal proceedings based on the verdict, Hürriyet wrote.

This week, Atilla was found guilty by a New York jury on charges including bank fraud and conspiring to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Halkbank’s lawyers are preparing an appeal, Hürriyet said. Their main argument will be that the evidence used was illegally obtained in Turkey and brought to the U.S., it said.

At the same time, the Turkish government is maintaining that the trial was politically motivated and plans to bring the case to the United Nations and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, Hürriyet wrote.

“UN sanctions are binding for Turkey, but the U.S. sanctions are not,” Mustafa Şentop, an MP of the ruling Justice and Development Party, was quoted as saying by Hürriyet. “The U.S. has no right to try other countries’ citizens with its own laws. This is against international law.”