US Supreme Court convenes for Turkish state bank
The US Supreme Court on Thursday morning will evaluate an appeal filed by a Turkish state bank over a lawsuit for helping Iran evade American sanctions.
Turkey’s Halkbank had pleaded not guilty to bank fraud, money laundering and conspiracy over its alleged use of money services and front companies in Iran, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to evade sanctions, in a lawsuit filed by the federal government of the US.
Its alleged misconduct includes helping Iran secretly transfer $20 billion of restricted funds, including $1 billion laundered through the U.S. financial system, and converting oil revenue into gold and then cash to benefit Iranian interests.
In January, U.S. appeals court put Hallkbank’s prosecution on hold while the bank appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, on the grounds that the decision conflicted with Supreme Court precedents as it "greenlights the first criminal trial of a foreign sovereign in the nation's history."
It also said it would suffer irreparable harm if forced to defend against "a case from which it is immune."
The judges of the Supreme Court in Thursday’s meeting will examine the documents in the file and express their personal opinions on whether the Halkbank case should be put on the court's calendar or not.
The US Constitutional Court denies most appeals. In its last term it heard only 72 cases of the 5,307 filings it received.