Dual indictment adds to rigging case controversy

Dual indictment adds to rigging case controversy

Dual indictment adds to rigging case controversy

A fan holds the banner that reads ‘All for one, one for all’ outside the Silivri courthouse in support of five Fenerbahçe officials that are being tried at the match-fixing case. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

A dubious difference between the indictment read at the courthouse and the one given to the suspects was the highlight at the close of the first week of hearings in the landmark match-fixing case Feb. 17.
Abdullah Kaya, Fenerbahçe Chairman Aziz Yıldırım’s lawyer, who is the highest-profile suspect in the case, told Judge Mehmet Ekinci there was a difference between the two indictments.

After the judge examined the two indictments, Kaya told reporters Ekinci had told him, “The real indictment is the one being read” and there were “some missing parts” due to a “difference in format.”
Three paragraphs on page 337 of the 400-page indictment were missing in the one that was given to suspects.

“Our chairman [Aziz Yıldırım] noticed the difference,” Kaya said to reporters. “That shows how well-prepared he is for his defense.”

Kaya said he believed there were no bad intentions.

“That is the first time I’ve seen such a case in my life,” Kaya said to reporters. “I can’t say they did it on purpose and I believe it happened inadvertently, but still, it does not bode well [for the case].”

An official complaint about Prosecutor Mehmet Berk, who wrote the indictment, could be in the cards, the Turkish media reported.

The first stage of hearings ended Feb. 17, as the reading of the indictment was finished after four days at the Silivri courthouse.

A total of 23 football club officials and coaches are under arrest, and Ekinci said he would consider releases at the end of next week.

A total of 93 football officials, coaches and players were listed as suspects in the match-fixing case, which started after the Istanbul police found several matches from the top two leagues were allegedly manipulated last season.

Defenses next week

The hearings will continue at the Çağlayan Courthouse in central Istanbul with the suspect’s defenses on Feb. 20.

Earlier this week, Yıldırım, arguably the most powerful man in Turkish football, claimed he would “shock” the country next week with the statements he will make during his defense. “This case is not about match fixing,” Yıldırım claimed. “If it was, they would investigate other people, too.”

Several Fenerbahçe supporters have been claiming the case was a plot to dethrone Yıldırım. When asked if there was “political motivation” behind the case, Yıldırım, who has been behind bars pending charges since early July last year, simply answered, “I don’t know. Investigate it a little.”