Dec 07 2017

FBI footage of sanctions case banking executive leaked

FBI footage of the initial post-arrest briefing of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive at Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank who is now at the centre of a high-profile U.S. sanctions trial, has been obtained and published by Turkey’s Hürriyet newspaper.

“This issue is nothing to do with me personally,” Atilla is seen telling FBI agents Jennifer McReynolds and Scott Giessler in the video.

“If it had anything to do with me, why would I be in America? Do I look stupid?” he asked.

Atilla tells the agents that it was only the bank he worked for that did business with Iranian-Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab, who has admitted to being at the centre of the scheme to undermine U.S. sanctions on Iran.

“Do whatever you can,” he said. “I am a government functionary. So there’s a high chance they will want to follow this case.”

Atilla also appeared to lament the loss of business his arrest would entail.

“We have $500 million of lending business,” he said. “This will destroy everything.”