US: Longer sentence for former Turkish banker rejected

– Hakan Atilla, serving out sentence in federal prison in Pennsylvania, is set for release next July

By Betul Yuruk </p> <p>NEW YORK (AA) – A former Turkish banker serving time in the U.S. will finish out his 32-month sentence, but no longer, said the top U.S. prosecutor in New York late on Thursday.</p> <p>A bid for a tougher sentence for Hakan Atilla, former deputy CEO of Turkish state lender Halkbank, was rejected by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.</p> <p>Atilla was sentenced this May to 32 months in prison in the U.S. for violating sanctions on Iran.</p> <p>“The Government’s Notice of Appeal in the … cross-appeal, filed on June 25, 2018, is hereby dismissed with prejudice,” said a statement by U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. </p> <p>Atilla, currently serving out his sentence in a federal prison in the state of Pennsylvania, is set for release on July 25, 2019. </p> <p>Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized Atilla’s conviction, calling it “politically motivated.”