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Penalties loom as lawyer for Turkey's Halkbank delays US court proceedings

Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank may face financial penalties and further political blowback after once again refusing to recognize criminal charges in a New York court this week.
A customer (C) uses an automated teller machine at a branch of Halkbank in Istanbul August 15, 2014. Turkey's state-run lender Halkbank said on Friday it has offer to buy a 76.76 percent stake in Serbian lender Cacanska Banka for an undisclosed sum. Halkbank offered no further details on the potential acquisition in a statement to the Istanbul stock exchange. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (TURKEY - Tags: BUSINESS) - GM1EA8F1MZB01

A legal saga involving high-ranking officials in both Washington and Ankara continues after lawyers representing Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank refused to recognize criminal charges brought against the institution by the US Department of Justice on Tuesday.

Following an indictment released on Oct. 15, the bank faces six counts of fraud and conspiracy to evade US sanctions on Iran between 2012 and 2016 in what became known as the “gas for gold" scheme. This week, Halkbank lawyer Andrew Hruska of the King & Spalding law firm said the institution would seek dismissal of the case without recognizing the charges, while also requesting the judge recuse himself for having allegedly exhibited bias in prior media interviews.

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