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FILE PHOTO: Mehmet Hakan Atilla (R) a deputy general manager of Halkbank, is shown in this court room sketch with his attorney Gerald J. DiChiara as he appears in Manhattan federal court in New York, New York, U.S., March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - An executive at the Turkish state-owned bank Halkbank on Thursday pleaded not guilty to involvement in a multi-year scheme to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a deputy general manager at Halkbank, entered his plea through his lawyer at a hearing in Manhattan federal court.

U.S. prosecutors accused Atilla of conspiring with wealthy Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab to conduct hundreds of millions of dollars of illegal transactions through U.S. banks on behalf of Iran's government and other entities in Iran.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne in New York)

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