Law & Crime: Halkbank is the biggest case on US Supreme Court’s 2023 agenda
Law & Crime, one of the most prominent networks covering legal news in the US has ranked the Turkish state-owned lender Halkbank’s multi-billion money laundering case as the first among the biggest US Supreme Court cases coming in 2023.
The court on Jan.17, will decide whether the case against Halkbank survives, despite the lender’s bid to dismiss the indictment accusing it of helping Iran to evade American sanctions.
Law & Crime at the weekend said this can has “profound geopolitical repercussions that could prove embarrassing” for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and former US President Donald Trump.
Trump at the time was reportedly ordered a district attorney general to drop charges against Halkbank as a favour to his Turkish counterpart, after Erdogan reportedly “manipulated” the US administration to “protect” his family over the case.
Halkbank was accused of laundering $20 billions to violate sanctions on Iran, with at least $1 billion allegedly laundered through the US financial system.
The indictment prepared by the US federal prosecutors stated that Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian gold-trader has bribed Turkish officials, including a Turkish minister, to help divert Iranian oil and gas revenues through Halkbank with the help of fictitious trades. Initially denying the charges, Zarrab later became a US witness, testifying that Erdogan allowed the sanctions-busting scheme and Mehmet Zafer Caglayan, a former Turkish Economy Minister had accepted millions of dollars in bribes to cover the scheme up.
If Halkbank who pleaded not guilty to bank fraud, money laundering and conspiracy charges found guilty, it will be frozen out of the US financial system.