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TURKEY > Match-fixing case may end today

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

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Fener Chairman Aziz Yıldırım has been in jail pending charges since July 2011.

Fener Chairman Aziz Yıldırım has been in jail pending charges since July 2011.

The gripping football match-fixing case may be nearing its end with the head judge Mehmet Ekinci expected to announce his final verdict at the end of the hearing at the Çağlayan Courthouse in Istanbul today.

The landmark case, which became public after the first wave of detentions took place on July 3, 2011, was the first time high profile Turkish teams and officials were involved, after allegations from Istanbul police that several games from the 2010-2011 season had been manipulated.

A total of 93 players, coaches and officials were listed as suspects in the indictment. The prosecutor is seeking jail time for 21 people.

Prosecutor Ufuk Ermertcan is seeking prison terms for several members of Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor, as well as players from Eskişehirspor, Sivasspor, Gençlerbirliği and Bursaspor for their alleged involvement in the manipulation of league games. Two officials from Beşiktaş may be also punished for alleged attempts to manipulate the team’s 2011 Turkish Cup victory over Istanbul BB.

Radikal’s Kenan Başaran reported yesterday that Ekinci is most likely to announce his verdict today, but there is a small possibility that the case will not be concluded until July 2 if defenses at today’s hearings take more time than expected.

Fenerbahçe Chairman Aziz Yıldırım, who is arguably the most powerful man in Turkish football, is the highest profile name in the case and has been jailed pending charges since early July. Fener official İlhan Ekşioğlu, former Giresunspor chairman and alleged mob leader Olgun Peker and player agent Yusuf Turanlı are the remaining four people jailed pending charges.

June/29/2012

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