Jurors in the diplomatically sensitive trial of a Turkish banker over a billion-dollar Iran sanctions-busting scheme finished their first day of deliberations without a verdict Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.
Banker Hakan Atilla, 47, is charged with aiding a conspiracy to launder Iranian oil money masterminded by millionaire gold trader Reza Zarrab, who was originally charged but has become a cooperating witness for the government.
Testimony from Zarrab and others implicated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and government ministers in corruption and bribery. But Erdogan has repeatedly protested the trial, claiming that prosecutors are tools of a dissident Turkish cleric living in the United States.
Jury deliberations in the 3 1⁄2-week trial are scheduled to resume Thursday.