Prosecutor’s Office dismisses prosecution into alleged members of ‘Selam Terrorist Organization’

Prosecutor’s Office dismisses prosecution into alleged members of ‘Selam Terrorist Organization’

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed a prosecution into suspects who were alleged members of “Selam Jerusalem Terrorist Organization,” which was mentioned in an eavesdropping case, saying there was not enough evidence to open a public case.

According to previous reports, thousands of people who were suspected to be the members of the organization were wiretapped for three years by the prosecutors in charge.  The eavesdropping was justified on the grounds that the figures were members of the “Selam Terrorist Organization.” “Selam” means hello/peace in Arabic. 

An investigation was launched by the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) into the prosecutors after files on the wiretappings were found in the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office by the new prosecutors who were assigned to follow mass purges in the judiciary.

Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said the files were carefully examined and no words or actions constituting crime by the suspects were found in the phone conversations, or in their meetings.

There is not enough evidence, other than the abstract claim, to prove the suspects’ links with the organization or crimes committed by them as a part of the organization’s activities, the prosecutor’s office said, dismissing the prosecution of the suspects.

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç on Feb. 24 confirmed the reports, saying 2,280 people, including scholars, artists, writers and politicians whose phone numbers were found in the 107 folders were wiretapped.

The eavesdropping reportedly started after a probe launched by a specially authorized prosecutor in 2011 and targeted five people, including Prime Minister Erdoğan and extended to his close circle over time. Prosecutor Adnan Çimen, who was reportedly in charge of the case, described the reports as unfounded, adding that none of the individuals were actually contained in the investigation files.