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Following witness Rıza Sarraf's testimony in the third hearing in the trial of former Halkbank Deputy General Director Mehmet Hakan Atilla who is standing trial for evading embargo against Iran, İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office Bureau for Terror and Organized Crimes has decided to confiscate the assets of Sarraf and his acquaintances in Turkey.
The Reason for the confiscation decision is "Acquiring confidential information for a foreign state with purpose of spying".
The assets of 22 people will be confiscated including Rıza Sarraf and artist Ebru Gündeş's daughter Alara Sarraf.
Rıza Sarraf accepted to testify as a witness in the trial of former Halkbank Deputy General Director Mehmet Hakan Atilla who is standing trial for evading embargo against Iran. In the hearing on November 29, 2017, he testified before the jury for the first time.
In the first hearing, Sarraf explained the money laundering system for Iran, that could not carry out any international business due to the embargo by the United States (US). Sarraf told that he hid the resource of the money that Iran had earned by oil and natural gas by transferring the money between various different accounts with the held of Halkbank.
He stated that former Minister of the European Union (EU) Egemen Bağış helped him open an account at Aktif Bank and later bribed the then Minister of Economy Zafer Çağlayan to work with Halkbank.
On the second day of the trial on November 30, Sarraf explained that he bribed then-Halkbank General Director Süleyman Aslan. He added that former Halkbank Deputy General Director Mehmet Hakan Atilla who is the suspect of the trial, was carrying out the operation as the person who had the best knowledge of money laundering within the embargo but that he did not ask for bribe.
Sarraf also noted that Çağlayan informed him that then-Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan and then-Vice Minister of Economy Ali Babacan "gave approval an order to start doing that trade".
On the third day of the trial on December 1, Sarraf explained why they gave up on gold trade and chose to launder money through food trade instead. Following the third hearing, US courts have begun to share some evidence with the public.
Sarraf said that Mehmet Hakan Atilla was uninformed about some of the issues and that they copied former Halkbank General Director Arslan's signature to bypass him since they were tired of Arslan asking for bribe everytime they called him for business.
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