Former Turkish banker at US airport for repatriation

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Former Turkish banker at US airport for repatriation 1

After his release from a federal U.S. prison last week, a former Turkish banking executive has been transferred Tuesday to New York’s JFK airport for repatriation to Turkey.

Mehmet Hakan Atilla, 48, the former deputy director-general at Turkish state lender Halkbank, was sentenced on May 2018 in New York for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

However, the judge allowed the time he had served after being arrested a year earlier to be credited in the sentence, and his release on July 19 was announced earlier due to good behavior.

On Sunday, Atilla was moved to York County Prison in Pennsylvania for deportation.

An official Anadolu Agency contacted from the prison confirmed that Atilla was handed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

He is expected to land in Istanbul on Saturday morning.

When Atilla was convicted, Turkey blasted the verdict as “a scandalous decision in a scandalous case” and “a conspiracy aimed at complicating Turkey’s internal politics and intervening in Turkey’s internal affairs.”

Atilla’s arrest came after Turkish businessman Reza Sarraf was arrested in 2016 in the U.S. for violating sanctions on Iran.

Cooperating with prosecutors, he gave testimony against Atilla which was used to convict the banker.

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