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Court announces ruling in Susurluk trial

ANKARA - Turkish Daily News | 11/14/2006 12:00:00 AM |

An Istanbul Court announces its final decision at the trial of former DYP deputy Sedat Bucak, who faced charges of forming a criminal gang after a car-accident in 1996 revealed the existence of a corrupt web of relationships between police, mafia and politicians

An Istanbul court has sentenced a former True Path Party (DYP) deputy to one year and 15 days in prison for helping a criminal gang.

The Istanbul Second Criminal Court announced its final decision at the trial of former True Path Party (DYP) deputy Sedat Bucak, who faced charges of forming a criminal gang. Bucak had previously been found not guilty of the charges, but the Supreme Court of Appeals Eighth Bureau annulled the court's original ruling on Feb. 28, 2004, asking for a retrial, which started in January this year. Bucak's sentence was indefinitely postponed by the court.

Susurluk scandal:

The Susurluk scandal was so-named after a car accident in 1996 close to Susurluk, a town in western Turkey, in which Bucak was injured and a police officer, a former beauty queen and a right-wing mafia boss were killed. The incident revealed the existence of a corrupt triangle of relationships involving police, the mafia and politicians. After the accident, charges were brought against Bucak.

After his political immunity was revoked, Bucak was charged with failing to alert officials about the location of Abdullah Çatlı, also wanted in connection with the accident, forming a criminal gang and possession of firearms. The prosecutor requested a sentence of between 11 to 20 years. However, Bucak was reelected to Parliament on April 18, 1999, resulting in the suspension of the trial. Only after his failure to be reelected in the Nov. 3, 2002 elections could the trial resume.

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