In this courtroom sketch Mehmet Hakan Atilla, second from left, listens to the judge during his sentencing, flanked by his attorneys Cathy Fleming, left, and Victor Rocco as Atilla's wife, upper right, listens to the proceedings Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in New York. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman imposed a sentence of 32 months in prison on the Turkish banker convicted of helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Turkey slams US sentencing of Turkish banker on Iran scheme

May 17, 2018 - 4:12 am

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey has slammed the sentencing of a Turkish banker in the United States over his role in helping Iran evade U.S. economic sanctions.

In a statement late Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry called the trial against Turkish state-run Halkbank employee Mehmet Hakan Atilla "an entirely feigned process which is inconsistent with the principle of a fair trial."

Atilla was sentenced in Manhattan on Wednesday to a shorter than expected prison term of 32 months, including the 14 months he has already served.

The trial, which ended in January, had featured testimony about corruption at top levels of the Turkish government. The ministry said the U.S. court relied on "forged evidence and false statements" from members of the network of a U.S.-based cleric accused of attempting to overthrow the Turkish government.

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