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CHP questions minister about wiretapping daily Cumhuriyet

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News | 9/17/2009 12:00:00 AM |

The Justice Ministry confirms that all reporters of daily Cumhuriyet were wiretapped without a court order. The main opposition party questions Minister Sadullah Ergin on why those responsible were not investigated

Daily Cumhuriyet’s reporters and telephone switchboard were wiretapped without a court order as part of the Ergenekon investigation, the Justice Ministry confirmed, but it rebuffed complaints because it said prosecutors had not drawn up an indictment.

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, deputy president of the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, was also wiretapped during his phone conversation with correspondent İlhan Taşçı. Kılıçdaroğlu applied to the Supreme Board of Prosecutors and Judges, or HSYK, and lodged a complaint against the prosecutors.

To wiretap without a court order contradicts the rule of law, Kılıçdaroğlu said. “I demand disciplinary proceedings against public prosecutors Ercan Şafak, Mehmet Ali Pekgüzel, Fikret Seçen, Mehmet Murad Yönder, Zekeriya Öz and Nihat Taşkın because they ordered the wiretapping of my conversation with İlhan Taşçı, against whom no legitimate proceedings have been instituted, and used the record as evidence in the Ergenekon criminal suit file.”

The Justice Ministry, however, rejected his application and opened no investigation. “Your complaint has been rejected because the indictment includes no accusation against Taşçı based on the mentioned records and we found no sign that the prosecutors misused their authority. You have the right to apply to the Ankara Administrative Court within 60 days,” read the response to Kılıçdaroğlu’s petition.

Then CHP deputy Turgut Dibek brought the wiretapping scandal onto Parliament’s agenda. He questioned Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin as to why the Cumhuriyet reporters were wiretapped without a court order and why no investigation was opened to determine those responsible.

CHP leader Deniz Baykal defined the wiretapping without a court order as “a legal scandal” in his party’s central executive committee meeting. “It is a legal scandal to wiretap people who are not accused or suspects and then to keep these records on file. It is not acceptable,” he said.

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