The former deputy director-general at state-lender Halkbank was sentenced to 32 months in prison for violating US sanctions on Iran. Ankara has repeatedly criticised his conviction, calling it "politically motivated."

An image of the Federal Correctional Institution Schuylkill Prison in Minersville, the United States of America.
An image of the Federal Correctional Institution Schuylkill Prison in Minersville, the United States of America. (AA)

Hakan Atilla, a former executive at Turkey's Halkbank arrested in the US in March 2017 for allegedly violating Iran sanctions, was released from prison on Friday. 

Atilla, 48, is expected to be deported from the US soon.

Last January, he was found guilty by a jury in New York on five counts related to conspiracy and bank fraud but was acquitted of money laundering.

He was sentenced in May 2018 for 32 months in prison. 

Turkey has repeatedly criticised his conviction, calling it "politically motivated."

A quick look at the Hakan Atilla case.
A quick look at the Hakan Atilla case. (TRTWorld)

Atilla freed for good behaviour in jail?

The judge allowed the time he served after being arrested to be credited in the sentence.

According to a person familiar with the case, Atilla is being released from prison early for good behaviour. 

He was scheduled to be freed on July 25.

Atilla's arrest came after Turkish businessman Reza Sarraf was arrested in 2016 in the US for alleged violations of Iran sanctions.

He then cooperated with prosecutors and issued a testimony against Atilla.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies