posted by Christopher W. Holton

Lawyers for a Turkish banker on trial in New York on charges that he helped Iran evade U.S. sanctions asked a judge on Wednesday to declare a mistrial, saying testimony by a former Turkish police investigator should not have been allowed in court.

The lawyers for Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive at Turkey’s majority state-owned Halkbank, said the jury had been “tainted” after hearing Huseyin Korkmaz testify in Manhattan federal court this week that he feared he would be tortured if he returned to Turkey, where he led an investigation involving Turkish officials, Atilla and others.

Prosecutors have accused Atilla, 47, of working with Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab and others to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions through fraudulent gold and food transactions.

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