US prosecutor drops appeal to extend Turkish banker’s sentence

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The headquarters of Turkey's Halkbank is seen in Ankara in this December 17, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/Files

The New York prosecutor’s office has withdrawn an appeal to extend the sentence of a former executive at Turkey’s state-owned lender Halkbank, the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency said on Dec. 6.

A U.S. court sentenced Hakan Atilla, an executive from Halkbank, to 32 months in prison in May for helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions in a case that has strained already tense ties between NATO allies Ankara and Washington.

Halkbank, which denies any wrongdoing, has since faced potential U.S. fines in relation to the case, which Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan has condemned as a political attack against his government.

The agency, without citing sources, said the prosecutor’s office had been asked by the court to present details of its appeal by Dec. 6 but that the appeal had later been withdrawn.

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