Turkey's former watchdog chief denies any wrongdoing in charity scandal
ANKARA - Hürriyet
The former head of Turkey’s television watchdog, who is under trial in connection with alleged embezzlement in the Deniz Feneri (Lighthouse) charity fraud case, has denied any knowledge of unofficial accounting records during recent testimony.
Zahid Akman said he had turned his shares in a firm over to Zekeriya Karaman in return for $3 million, but added that he did not recall the name of the firm whose shares he used to own.
Another suspect in the case, Cüneyt Kavasoğlu, earlier testified to prosecutors in Ankara that donations to the association were transferred into the vaults of certain firms whose shares were held by the executives of Lighthouse e.V., namely Kanal 7 executives such as Karaman, İsmail Karahan and Mustafa Çelik, as well as Akman.
Akman flatly denied all other accusations during his testimony.
The investigation into the Deniz Feneri charity was launched after a Frankfurt court in 2008 convicted three managers of the Lighthouse e.V. charity in Germany for embezzling 40 million euros. Most of the money is believed to have ended up in Turkey in the coffers of the pro-government Kanal 7 television channel and a business group whose owners are close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).