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Turkish Banker's Jail Term May Hinge on Answers to U.S. Judge

In this Nov. 28, 2017 court room sketch, defendant, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, center, listens to proceedings from the defense table, in New York.
In this Nov. 28, 2017 court room sketch, defendant, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, center, listens to proceedings from the defense table, in New York.

Source: Elizabeth Williams/AP

A U.S. judge demanded more information about Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla and his role in a scheme to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions on billions of dollars in oil revenue before deciding deciding the sentence for his crimes.

In an order filed Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman asked prosecutors whether the sanctions Atilla was found guilty of helping to evade are still in effect, and for the identity of the "chief beneficiaries" of the scheme. He also pressed defense lawyers for details about Atilla’s previous visits to the U.S., his Turkish consul, and a letter sent to U.S. State Department on Atilla’s behalf.