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At the press conference held at Republican People’s Party (CHP) İzmir Provincial Presidency, CHP Vice Chair Erdal Aksünger has made statements about trial of Halkbank Deputy General Director Mehmet Hakan Atilla held in the United States (US) which he watched on behalf of the CHP. Atilla is charged with evading US sanctions on Iran and money laundering.
According to Taylan Yıldırım from the Doğan News Agency (DHA), Aksünger said:
“Where does this trial go back to? 202 kilos of heroine were seized in Edirne in 2007. They reached an exchange office owner in İstanbul during the investigation. This figure is Abdullah Happani, associate of Reza Zarrab”.
“Atilla will be sentenced to around 5 years in prison”
“[Atilla] is one of the seven people who have been tried in absentia. Doesn’t the state know these? They do. Turkey will reportedly be fined 10 billion dollars. We have to pay this. If we don’t, we can’t transfer even a single dollar via our banks.
“So, what will happen to Mehmet Hakan Atilla? He will be sentenced to around 5 years in prison, he is the scape goat. Zarrab said that as well as Zafer Çağlayan and Süleyman Aslan. When he is proven guilty as charged, Halk Bank will be penalized”.
“Embargo will be on the agenda if the US goes to the UN”
Aksünger also claimed that if the US shifts this case to a legal suit, it may go to the United Nations, which will bring the possibility of embargo on the agenda.
Trial of Reza Zarrab
Reza Zarrab was arrested on December 21 within the scope of December 17-25 corruption and bribery investigation. He was released after 70 days of imprisonment.
Iranian businessperson Babek Zencani, pointed as Zarrab's partner in Iran was sentenced to capital punishment on charge of corruption on March 6, 2016.
Zencani has companies in Turkey too. Kont Group Cosmetics in Beşiktaş district of İstanbul is one of them. Zencani is also allegedly linked with Onur Air. Zencani's attorneys in the past few days had stated in the lawsuit they brought in İstanbul that Onur Air belongs to them.
Zencani is associated with Reza Zarrab frequently during this period. In the report prepared by inspectors of the Ministry of Customs and Trade, a relation between the two has been mentioned.
Zarrab had been taken into custody in Miami city airport while trying to enter the United States and arrested on March 22.
On his first hearing on April 27, Zarrab facing up to 95 years of imprisonment denied the accusations of conspiring to evade US sanctions against Iran, money laundering and bank fraud.
On October 26, Zarrab pleaded guilty and it was announced by the state attorney's office on November 28.
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