Accused of violating sanctions on Iran in the United States, Halkbank defense attorneys claimed in their 71-page defense petition to the Second District Court of Appeals in New York that both the commercial lender and the state of Turkey would suffer if the case was concluded against them.
The US Constitutional Court, which took the Halkbank case on its agenda, sent the decision to the New York Second District Court of Appeals for reconsideration on April 19.
‘Cannot be prosecuted in the USA’
According to the news in VOA Turkish; Halkbank helped Iran to secretly transfer $20 billion from banned funds. The lawsuit claimed that at least 1 billion dollars of this money was laundered in the US financial system. A deposition signed by Halkbank’s attorney Robert M. Carry, stated that regarding the appeal request that 91 percent of the bank belongs to the Republic of Turkey Wealth Fund, and the bank falls under the ‘Foreign State Immunity Act’ (FSIA) and therefore cannot be prosecuted in the US.
‘No adverse verdict’ defense
Halkbank claimed that both the bank and Turkey would suffer if the case was concluded against them. Halkbank argued that no court had previously ruled unfavorably on sovereign immunity in a criminal case.
The petition, which includes the history of the Foreign State Immunity Law and the previous decisions taken by the courts within the framework of this law, and the jurisprudence of the high judiciary, included evaluations of the appeals court’s decision in the Halkbank case.
The question ‘Who knows what a creative prosecutor might come up with?’
In the defense petition, it was stated that if a decision is made against Halkbank, the consensus provided by the law on this issue will be destroyed and it will be impossible to control the results.
The petition states, “If whether in federal or state courts, state or local prosecutors are given this unlimited power to sue a nation, they will be able to file charges in their jurisdiction on matters of world issues, from refugees crossing the border to climate change, and file criminal charges against a country. It offers many opportunities for creative prosecutors to disrupt the diplomatic relations between US and other nations.
‘It will directly harm Turkey’
Stating that the actions regarding the accusations in the indictment prepared by the USA against them took place in Turkey, within the borders of Turkish sovereignty, Halkbank said, “If this case is ultimately successful, it will weaken Halkbank’s ability to operate and will also directly harm Turkey.” .
The lower court has yet to set a date for a new trial for Halkbank. Previously, law experts argued that if Halkbank is declared guilty, the Treasury of Turkey can be penalized up to $10 bn, though this figure was disputed by the management, which estimated a penalty less than $1 bn. The ongoing Halkbank case is a major obstacle to better relations between two nations.
Follow our English language YouTube videos @ REAL TURKEY: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKpFJB4GFiNkhmpVZQ_d9Rg
And content at Twitter: @AtillaEng