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Turkish PM Links US Verdict on Banker to FETO Featured

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Case of Hakan Atilla is based on fabricated evidence by FETO, Binali Yildirim says.

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Saturday criticized the U.S. verdict on Turkish banker Hakan Atilla, saying pro-FETO judges and prosecutors in the U.S. are trying to target Turkey.

Speaking at a provincial congress of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in the central province of Nevsehir, Yildirim said those who try to give Turkey legal lessons have violated the law in this case.

He said the U.S. judges convicted Atilla in a case based on fabricated evidence provided by FETO.

"And then they call it an independent judiciary," Yildirim added.

On Wednesday, a jury in New York found Atilla guilty on five counts related to conspiracy and bank fraud but acquitted him of a money laundering charge.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry called the decision an "unjust and unfortunate development."

The verdict by a panel of six men and six women against Atilla, the 47-year-old former deputy chief executive officer of Turkey’s Halkbank, came after more than three weeks of testimonies and four days of deliberation.

The counts on which Atilla was declared guilty included violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran, crimes to deceive the U.S. and defrauding U.S. banks.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt on July 15, 2016 which left 250 martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

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