Court suspends charges against intelligence official

Court suspends charges against intelligence official

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Court suspends charges against intelligence official

Başbuğ, another suspect in the case, is expected to appear in the court Monday. Hürriyet photo

An Istanbul court ruled to suspend the trial of an intelligence official yesterday, in order to request permission from the prime minister’s office, in accordance with a recent bill rushed through Parliament to shield Turkey’s top intelligence chief from prosecution. 

Specially authorized Istanbul Prosecutor Murat Alkuş issued the request to suspend the proceedings against Ö.Y., a high – ranking member of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), due to the new law that requires the permission of the prime minister’s office to press charges against MİT officials. 
The court delegation then decided to separate the suspect’s file from the case regarding the “Action Plan to Combat Reactionism,” indicating that the suspect was the MİT’s Istanbul Deputy Regional Director at the time of the alleged offense. 

Suspect Ö.Y. was standing trial on the charge of “membership of a terrorist organization.” He was appointed as the MİT’s İzmir Regional Director after his service in Istanbul. 

Suspect Ö.Y.’s file will now be sent to the prime minister’ office to obtain permission to proceed with the case, according to reports. 

Meanwhile, former Chief of Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ, another suspect in the same lawsuit who has remained under arrest since Jan. 6, did not attend the trial due to health reasons. 

The court had earlier decided to merge the suit filed against the former top general on Feb. 17, 2012 with the ongoing “Internet Memorandum” case. 

A specially authorized prosecutor had called MİT Chief Hakan Fidan, his predecessor Emre Taner, MİT’s former deputy chief Afet Güneş, and two other agency officials to testify in connection with the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) probe on Feb. 8. The prosecutors had alleged that MİT had colluded with the KCK, the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and that its operatives had engaged in violence. 

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) then rushed a bill through Parliament in order to shield the MİT’s chief, while the prosecutor who issued the summons has since been removed from his post. The unexpected affair, however, had led to speculation about a divide between MİT and the judiciary.