11 police officers detained in Turkish PM Erdoğan’s wiretapping probe, one missing
Fevzi Kızılkoyun - Mesut Hasan Benli ANKARA
PM Erdoğan made public on Dec. 21, 2012 that wiretapping devices had been found in his Prime Ministry office and home. REUTERS PhotoA prosecutor has issued search and arrest warrants for 12 police officers over the illegal wiretapping of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s office on June 17, leading to 11 detentions.
Prosecutor Duran Çetin also ordered that the homes and offices of suspects, including two police chiefs, be searched.
The police operation started early June 17. Six suspects in Ankara, two suspects in Yozgat and one suspect in Istanbul, Diyarbakır and Karabük were detained. Erdoğan's former chief bodyguard, identified as Zeki B., is among the suspects, as searches continue at his house.
A local police chief, identified as Serhat D., is suspected of planting the bug, but could not be detained as he was abroad.
Four civil servants were previously identified as “potential suspects” in the wiretapping scandal. Erdoğan made public on Dec. 21, 2012 that wiretapping devices had been found in his Prime Ministry office and home, describing the move as “open espionage.” An Ankara prosecutor dealing with anti-terror cases immediately launched an investigation, on the grounds that it involved an espionage-related crime.
Following the abolition of specially authorized courts dealing with terror-related crimes in March this year, the case was transferred to another prosecutor dealing with offenses against the constitutional order. Many of the bodyguards working at the Prime Ministry, as well as security forces believed to have access to the Prime Ministry offices, have testified as part of the case.
The bugging devices, the serial numbers of which have been already erased, were sent to the prosecutor in May and taken in by the court’s evidence unit.