Jury selection begins for trial of Turkish bank executive

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NEW YORK (AP) – Jury selection is underway at the trial of a top executive for a state-run bank in Turkey accused of conspiring to help Iran evade economic sanctions.

Halkbank Deputy CEO Mehmet Hakan Atilla has pleaded not guilty to charges he conspired with international gold trader Reza Zarrab.

It’s unknown what role Zarrab could play at the trial. He was included on a list of people whose names could come up during the proceedings.

At the start of jury selection Monday, a judge told prospective jurors that Atilla is the only defendant.

Turkey’s deputy prime minister has said Zarrab is a “hostage” being forced to testify against Turkey’s government. The country’s president has also repeatedly asked the U.S. to release Zarrab.

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