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LOCAL > Prosecutor in second graft investigation says case ‘taken out of his hands’

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Muammer Akkaş blasted the judicial institution for obstructing the probe in a statement on Dec. 26. Hürriyet photo

Muammer Akkaş blasted the judicial institution for obstructing the probe in a statement on Dec. 26. Hürriyet photo

The head prosecutor in a new corruption case has said the investigation files have been “taken from his hands” after he gave instructions for the arrest of suspects, while blasting the judicial institution for obstructing the probe.

Muammer Akkaş, a former prosecutor in the Ergenekon coup plot case, denounced pressure from the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and judicial police to not carry out court orders.

“I learned that I was removed from my duty without any justification, while the search warrants, seizure [of materials] and arrest orders [were also taken from me]. The responsibility from now on falls with the Istanbul public prosecutor and his deputy. All of the public and my colleagues should know that my task as a prosecutor has been obstructed,” Akkaş said in a written statement Dec. 27.

Akkaş was reportedly conducting a new graft investigation much bigger than the one that has shaken the government, daily Radikal reported Dec. 25. The fresh investigation was said to implicate key civil servants, politicians and even some artists.

Media reports today claimed the arrest orders had been made as part of the investigations, but they were not carried out due to “friction” between the judiciary and the police department.

In his statement, Akkaş also confirmed that he conveyed the arrest orders to the Istanbul Police Department on Dec. 25. He added that those were not implemented, despite a meeting he had with the police commissioner that would take part in the operation as of Dec. 25 afternoon.

“By not implementing the court decisions, the police commissioners have committed a crime. They have also allowed room for the suspects to take measures, escape or tamper with the evidences,” Akkaş said. 

Chief Prosecutor denies claims, accuses Akkaş of leaks to media

Chief Prosecutor Turan Çolakkadı denied that his office intended to obstruct the case and accused Akkaş of being the responsible for the leaks about the investigation relayed by some media reports published today.

“One of our prosecutors distributed you a [written statement]. It contained erroneous information,” Çolakkadı said, adding that the law authorized chief prosecutors to remove prosecutors if deemed necessary.

“There are around 200 prosecutors working in our office. Those 200 prosecutors cannot launch nor finalize an investigation by themselves,” Çolakkadı said, adding that Akkaş did not inform his superiors regularly about his investigations. 

“Forget about informing via phone or fax, there are certain investigations which are being conducted without [the prosecutors in charge] giving any information [to their superiors]. There are some who inserted different names in registers, or even names that are not mentioned in the records,” Çolakkadı said.

He particularly accused Akkaş of being responsible for the media leaks. “According to our instructions, those who leak the information of ongoing investigations to the media or do not conduct a probe compliant with the law can be removed from the case. We are not doing it for the first time today,” Çolakkadı said.

Çolakkadı also vowed that the five prosecutors now in charge of the case would continue to carry it out impartially. “No evidence can be tampered with. Whoever is guilty, whoever’s son he is, what’s necessary will be done by justice,” he said.

Twenty-four people have been formally arrested under the corruption investigation that hit Turkey last week, including the sons of Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, who handed over their portfolios in the early hours of today after resigning.

Judicial police regulation 'unconstitutional'

Meanwhile, the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) has published a statement which stressed the importance of the judicial accountability of the executive.

The statement came as a response to a new requirement to oblige those working on investigations to inform superiors. 

“The judicial accountability of those who govern in cases that they engage illegal acts or transactions is a necessity of a democratic state and the rule of law,” the statement said, slamming the regulation as "unconstitutional." 

“If a prosecutor or judge is thought to have performed an action contrary to law, the body at which to file a complaint is the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors. The HSYK assesses the complaints with rigor and implements disciplinal penalties on those whose crimes can be established,” the statement also said. 

The new regulation has triggered anger from lawyers. The Ankara Bar Association argued that it would result in the executive’s interference in investigations.

December/26/2013

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READER COMMENTS

Notice on comments

Mark Tak

12/27/2013 7:25:50 PM

United Arab Emirets do not want Istanbul as a finacial center and Turkish airlines taking down theirs,I am convinced that international gangs trying to Take Turkey down,Erdogan asking Sanghai to let Turkey in,Chinese Missle deal,and strong Turkish economy is feared by many in the west and Middle East.If These AKP misiters children stole money than they be jailed,but taking down Gulens schools which are recuritment centers to take power in Turkey also a factor,Gulen is dengerous man.

Brit in Turkey

12/27/2013 6:03:57 PM

Where to next? All trials to be presided over by AKP politicians?

Halil Ibrahim

12/27/2013 4:42:45 PM

Even if a prosecutor is politically motivated his case must be tested in court to the full letter of the law. If there is no transparency within judicial matters, then it's just another clear sign that something outside of the law is happening.

Black Berry

12/27/2013 10:15:21 AM

This was the second item on the BBC today. The world is sharing in our shame. Erdogan's government has lost any remaining standing in the world, we are now a banana republic.

Mark Tak

12/27/2013 4:01:52 AM

Now how is that this thing surfaced all of a sudden, and have you take a good look at stock markets,and dollar?

turk oz

12/27/2013 3:56:00 AM

He was getting too close to home and he unfortunately got burn. This never happens in a civilized world, they investigate, question and if there are no evidence then they let him go. But in Turkey if you do that you are stepping out of your boundaries which is set up by RTE. Why is he suddenly maybe not but dictating the outcome. Whatever happened to judiciary?

K M

12/27/2013 3:19:05 AM

@Sam Adam: Yeah, it's as if he actually thought a crime had been committed and he was supposed to prosecute someone for it. good thing we have folks like you to set us straight.

c soper

12/26/2013 11:26:48 PM

Difficult to judge fully here, but the CPP's actions also look fishy. Do these transgressions even if all are true really justify completely removing the portfolio? Perhaps these are two sides of a tectonic split - Gulenist/AKP perhaps ?

Murat

12/26/2013 11:03:13 PM

Ah, aint democracy grand? Especially our kind... at least all is done in front of cameras and journalists, not behind doors. I guess that is progress too.

Pawel Bury

12/26/2013 10:08:08 PM

@Rimon, Turks don't know what democracy is, they have never experienced it. So reacting to this is out of the question.
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