An İstanbul court has ruled for the pretrial detention of Kerim Yılmaz, a High Advisory Board member of the İYİ (Good) Party, over a tweet claiming that Halkbank would receive a significant fine for its involvement in a scheme to evade US sanctions on Iran.
Halkbank official Hakan Atilla was recently convicted of violating US sanctions on Iran and sentenced to 32 months in prison.
A prosecutor recently launched an investigation into Twitter accounts over Halkbank’s complaint alleging that people who circulated rumors about a fine had damaged the reputation of the bank.
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek also weighed in on the issue.
“The news implying that Halkbank will receive a fine of some $49 billion is false,” Şimşek said on an NTV broadcast on May 25.
Yılmaz was among a number of people who were briefly detained, according to the Doğan news agency.
He was put in pretrial detention under Article 5411 of the Banking Law, which stipulates that damaging the reputation of a bank is a crime.