ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey has slammed the conviction in New York of a Turkish banker accused of helping Iran evade sanctions as a "legal disgrace," and says it hopes the decision will be overturned.
Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a deputy general manager of state-run Halkbank was convicted on five counts on Wednesday, including conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Turkey's Foreign Ministry on Thursday described the verdict as an "unfair and unfortunate" development. It also accused the U.S. judiciary of being influenced by people linked to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom it said were permitted to make false claims and provide false evidence.
Turkey maintains the U.S. trial was based on Turkish corruption investigations in 2013, which it claims were hatched by Gulen's followers to bring down the government.