U.S. District Judge Richard Berman adjourned a hearing scheduled for March 3 in the case against Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank at the defense team’s request.
Andrew Hruska, the bank’s lawyer from firm King & Spalding, asked for more time to obtain a written authorization from Halkbank indicating that he has been given permission by the bank’s general manager to enter a plea on its behalf.
The document was demanded by the court last week, but Hruska in a letter to Judge Berman said that Halkbank’s board will supply that written authoritization and the bank’s next board meeting is late in the month.
“The issue will be addressed at the next board meeting that will be held specifically to discuss this issue on March 27, 2020. Given this process, we hope to have the letter by March 31, 2020. We respectfully request that the control date status conference now set for March to be rescheduled for a date following for March 31, 2010,” read Hruska’s letter.
After months of resistance, Halkbank last week agreed to appear in the New York court to face criminal charges that it helped Iran evade U.S. sanctions, backing down from its previous refusal to answer the allegations.
The case, which has caused tension between the United States and Turkey, accuses Halkbank of using money services and front companies in Iran, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to evade sanctions through sham transactions in gold, food and medicine.