Turkey's Halkbank to dismiss indictment for helping Iran skirt US sanctions

TEHRAN, Nov. 05 (MNA) – Turkish Halkbank, which has been charged by the US prosecutors with helping Iran evade sanctions, announced that it will seek to dismiss the case.

A lawyer for Turkey’s state-owned Halkban Andrew Hruska said in a letter that it would seek to dismiss the case and have the judge assigned to it recuse himself, Reuters reported.

In a letter to US District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan, Hruska said the bank was not agreeing to appear in court on the charges. He asked that he be allowed to represent the bank for the limited purpose of arguing the dismissal and recusal motions.

A hearing is scheduled in the case on Tuesday, and prosecutors have said they may seek a fine against Halkbank if it refuses to appear.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan brought the criminal charges against Halkbank on Oct. 16. The bank called the charges an escalation of Washington’s sanctions on Ankara over its military incursion in Syria, while Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called them an “unlawful, ugly” step.

Hruska said in Monday’s letter that the bank’s “incidental contacts with the US are insufficient to establish... jurisdiction” in the New York federal court.

He also said that Judge Berman must recuse himself because he had “made statements both in and out of the courtroom that call into question the court’s impartiality,” without giving details.


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