Aggravated life terms sought for three missing Dec. 17 probe prosecutors
ISTANBUL - Doğan News AgencyAn Istanbul prosecutor has demanded aggravated life sentences for three former prosecutors known for the infamous Dec. 17, 2013, graft probe, which was suspected of being a plot against the Turkish government masterminded by Gülenists.
The 553-page indictment by Bakırköy Public Deputy Chief Prosecutor Ömer Faruk Aydıner charged suspects Zekeriya Öz, Celal Kara and Mehmet Yüzgeç on multiple counts, including “attempting to topple the Turkish government and preventing it from holding its duties.”
With a total of 12 counts, Öz faces up to 72 years in prison and was accused of instigating Kara and Yüzgeç and “forming and administrating an armed terror organization.”
While Kara faces 11 counts and an aggravated life sentence in addition to up to 62 years in prison, Yüzgeç is facing eight counts and an aggravated life sentence in addition to up to 38 years in prison.
The indictment said Öz, a former Istanbul public deputy chief prosecutor, created the notion that he was fighting against corruption in society and took the duty of a coordinating deputy chief prosecutor in the probes carried out by Kara and Yüzgeç, however his actions in the inquiry process and its aftermath violated the “objectivity, truth and consistency” principles of legal ethics.
The document added it was not possible for the suspects to have performed their concerning actions alone and thus acted in unity with the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) led by Fethullah Gülen.
Öz and Kara were currently on the run, as they fled abroad before the arrest warrants were issued against them on Aug. 10, while Yüzgeç’s whereabouts were unknown.
The indictment against the suspects came a week after another indictment prepared against a former prosecutor and two judges for the former’s demand and the latters’ ruling on wiretappings carried out in the Dec. 25, 2013, probes – a sister investigation of Dec. 17 into a number of government officials and businessman on charges of fraud and corruption. In the indictment prosecutors demanded aggravated life sentences, in addition to up to 247 years for the former prosecutor and 63 years for the former judges.
During the Dec. 17, 2013, graft probe, four high-ranking former ministers, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, Interior Minister Güler, EU Minister Egemen Bağış and Urban Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, and several businessmen were accused of involvement in a large-scale probe but were late acquitted both in court and parliament.