129 suspects, including İzmir Mayor Kocaoğlu, acquitted in fraud case
İZMİRSome 129 suspects, including the mayor of the Aegean province of İzmir Aziz Kocaoğlu, were acquitted of corruption charges on Feb. 27, Doğan News Agency has reported.
The suspects, who were being tried without arrest, were charged in relation to “corruption in tenders” and “establishing a criminal organization,” but were acquitted in the case’s 30th hearing.
Prosecutor Zafer Sercan Yetişer said the evidence had been gathered illegally and demanded the acquittal of all suspects, also stating that no criminal organization had been founded.
A specially authorized prosecutor had in January 2012 requested nearly 397 years in jail for İzmir Mayor Kocaoğlu, who is a member of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), on 33 charges in relation to fraud allegations.
The indictment cited Kocaoğlu as the leading suspect and claimed he was the head of a criminal syndicate.
It also implicated Ersu Hızır, the municipality’s former secretary general, and Pervin Şenel Genç, the municipality’s current secretary general who remains under arrest, on the grounds of managing a criminal syndicate.
The metropolitan İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, as well as İzmir’s Karabağlar district and Aydın’s Kuşadası district, were raided in May 2011 by police, citing allegations of corruption and interference in public tenders. Police initially detained 44 people, 10 of whom were released after being interrogated.
The second investigation wave increased the number of suspects to 129 people in November 2011.
A number of documents were confiscated and all information on the municipalities’ computer hard drives was copied during the operations.