Former Turkish banker fails to testify in US case

Mehmet Hakan Atilla, former Turkish bank, didn’t testify in hearing, despite contrary statements by his lawyers

Former Turkish banker fails to testify in US case

World Bulletin / News Desk

Mehmet Hakan Atilla, former deputy CEO of Turkey’s Halkbank, didn’t testify in court Thursday despite earlier statements by his lawyers, saying he would.

While it remains uncertain whether Atilla will testify or not, his lawyer left the questions about the subject unanswered.

Following the hearing, Cathy Fleming, one of Atilla's lawyers, said it was Atilla’s decision to testify in order to “clear his name.” But, Fleming didn’t give a clear answer to the questions whether her client would testify or not.


-Objection from Atilla’s lawyers on evidence and testimony about Korkmaz

Defense lawyers appealed to the court on Wednesday to revoke the case because Huseyin Korkmaz, a fugitive FETO member and former Turkish police supervisor, who testified in the case against Atilla, “submitted stolen evidences” and “testified wrongly” when they submitted a bill of exception.

Richard Berman, the judge in the case, demanded the prosecution submit a petition which explains where and how the evidence Korkmaz has, came from.

The prosecution office is expected to present the petition at 1 am (10 pm GMT) on Friday.

At the beginning of the afternoon session, the prosecution got the jury watch six-minutes long part of the video footage that shows the interrogation of Atilla by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who was arrested in New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport on March 17, 2017.

The footage shows that Atilla says “Impossible. I don’t understand… I have no personal business with Riza. If I had, what would I be doing be in the U.S.” While the FBI agent told Atilla, he was arrested and issued an arrest warrant.

After watching the footage, Berman announced that a break would be given to the hearing and it would continue Friday morning until the prosecution and the defense agreed on the disputed subjects.

At the end of the morning session of the hearing, Atilla’s lawyers said he would testify in afternoon session.


-Korkmaz shared how he got evidence

Korkmaz, whose questioning continued at the beginning of the morning session, said he obtained the evidence related to the Dec. 17 investigation in six separate dates after he was dismissed from financial office.

Remarking that he visited the prosecutor, whom he submitted the evidence related to the investigation, on Dec. 25, 2017, Korkmaz said he wanted to keep the evidence as well and duplicated them, which he took from the prosecutor in compact disk (CD), in his flash and hard disks.

Korkmaz also said he visited the prosecutor in question twice more towards the end of Jan. 2014, and took the evidences – in a scanned form-- and the photographs found during police search, later transferred them to flash disk.


-A question of illegal evidence from Attila’s lawyer to Korkmaz

Mentioning his visit to the prosecutor, who was dismissed from former position, new office in Feb. 2014 and his house in July 2014, Korkmaz said he the took the documents scanned earlier and digital versions of missing reports during these visits.

Korkmaz added that he obtained an evidence from an officer, who was expert in the dossier, in June 2016. Korkmaz also said he made the first contact with American prosecutors via his lawyer.

Later, Todd Harrison, one of the lawyers of Atilla, got unanswered when he asked Korkmaz, who describes the evidences in the indictment prepared against him in Turkey as “unfounded”:

“Then, how can the evidences you got illegally in Turkey be used against my client Mr. Atilla?


-Korkmaz said he had over 40 meetings with the prosecution

During the Wednesday session of the hearing, Korkmaz said he neither saw nor met Atilla.

Asked how he could comment on the content of the tape records he doesn’t have and remember them while he claimed to listen hundreds of them, Korkmaz asserted that they were the first tape records he listened and remembered them when he saw their transcriptions in the courtroom.

He also told he had more than forty meeting with the prosecutor’s office during the process of preparation for testimony, adding, those meeting sometimes lasted more than four hours.

He prepared an “excel table” for [Riza] Sarraf’s gold export making use of tape records of phone calls, transcriptions, digital evidence and expert reports, Korkmaz said, adding, he completed the table in October.


-FBI gave $50,000

In his testimony before the court on Tuesday, Korkmaz said he received $50,000 from the FBI plus help with rent from the  prosecutors' office.

Asked if he received any assistance from the U.S. government, Korkmaz said: “The prosecutor’s office gave [me] a total of $900 in three tranches. FBI gave $50,000. The prosecutors’s office rented the flat I live in, it pays the rent.”

Following his testimony, Turkey-based FBI agent was summoned to General Directorate of Security in Ankara on Wednesday.



Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Aralık 2017, 09:44