Turkish justice minister says the case against a former senior bank manager has collapsed.
Turkey's Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul on Tuesday criticized a U.S. court trial against a former senior manager of a state-run Turkish lender.
In an interview with the Turkish news channel Kanal 24, Gul said the trial of former Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla in New York had “no legal validity”.
Atilla, the former deputy CEO of Halkbank, was arrested in the U.S. earlier this year on charges of violating American sanctions against Iran. However, he has rejected accusations of evading sanctions.
He said recent developments in the case and the cross-examinations showed that "the case has actually collapsed”.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this week, Gul wrote: "We watch regrettably that this case, which was opened in order to protect the financial interests of the U.S., is proceeding to serve the purpose of completing an unfinished operation of a terrorist organization against Turkey," in reference to Fetullah Terror Organization, or FETO.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
Gul said he had yet to receive a response to his letter.