Court orders capture of former minister Ağar

Court orders capture of former minister Ağar

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Court orders capture of former minister Ağar

Former minister Mehmet Ağar will surrender soon, says his lawyer. AA photo

A Turkish court ordered the capture yesterday of former Minister and Police Chief Mehmet Ağar, who will soon surrender himself to police, according to his lawyer.

Ağar will spent more than three years in prison after the Supreme Court of Appeals upheld a five-year jail sentence for him on charges that he set up an illegal armed organization for criminal activities.

“Ağar is not on the run, we are waiting for a Justice Ministry decision to find him a suitable secured prison,” Abdülkadir Toluç, Ağar’s lawyer, told Anatolia news agency yesterday. “He is on the target list of terror organizations, so he cannot be put in an ordinary prison. The ministry will inform us on the issue, then Ağar will surrender and speak before going to the prison.”

The ministry is looking for a high-security prison near the Aegean resort town of Bodrum, where Ağar’s family lives, and will announce the decision in a couple days, ministry officials told Anatolia.

Ağar is expected to serve three years and nine months under the law regulating the execution of sentences.

The Ankara 11th High Criminal Court had sentenced Ağar in September 2011 in the final case over the so-called Susurluk scandal of 1996, when Ağar was head of the national police. The scandal exposed links between the police, the mafia and politicians after a car accident in the northwestern district of Susurluk.

Ağar was convicted for offenses during his term as chief of police, from 1993 to 1995, before he was elected to Parliament for the now-defunct True Path Party (DYP). He served brief stints as justice and interior minister in 1996. His prosecution became possible in 2007 when he lost his parliamentary immunity.

In February 2008, charges were filed against him for “establishing an armed organization to commit crime.” Ağar was held responsible for weapons that went missing after being brought from Israel; some of the weapons had been delivered to the police’s special operations forces, but a large part went missing without any record. One of the missing guns was found in the car that crashed in Susurluk.

During the trial, Ağar described the issue of the missing weapons as a state secret. It is believed that many of the weapons were used in extrajudicial killings in Southeast Anatolia.