"The Court rejects Halkbank’s efforts to avoid and delay appropriate District Court proceedings," Judge Richard Berman of the US District Court for the Southern District in New York said.
On October 16, the US government opened a criminal case against Halkbank alleging the bank used different methods to evade sanctions against Iran, including utilizing front companies in three countries to transfer $20 billion of restricted Iranian funds.
Halkbank had appealed by arguing the US District Court should stay the case until the US Federal Appeals Court in Manhattan decides if it could make a special appearance to challenge the jurisdiction of US courts without first entering a plea.
Earlier in December, Berman ruled that a plea should come first.
However, in his ruling on Thursday Berman said the public has a strong interest in the case being promptly adjudicated and Halkbank would not face irreparable reputational or financial damage if the case proceeded.
Issuance of a stay would impede the speedy adjudication of Halkbank’s alleged role as facilitator of a $20 billion conspiracy to evade US sanctions against Iran, Berman added.