ECHR court fines Turkey in wiretapping case during Ergenekon probe
STARSBOURGThe European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined Turkey 7,500 euros for violating privacy through telephone wiretaps in disciplinary proceedings against a public prosecutor during the infamous Ergenekon investigation.
The court ruled that public prosecutor Hamdi Ünal Karabeyoğlu’s “right to respect for privacy and family life” was violated in the use of information obtained by telephone wiretapping. It also ruled that his “right to effective remedy” was violated.
Karabeyoğlu had appealed to the ECHR over his case in Turkey, which was part of the Ergenekon investigation – a massive probe into hundreds of senior military personnel, journalists and politicians on charges of attempting to stage a coup against the Turkish government.
The ECHR found that Karabeyoǧlu had received “the minimum degree of protection required by the rule of law in a democratic society,” as his telephone wiretap was found to be based on reasonable suspicion and so was carried out in line with the relevant legislation.
However, the court also ruled that “the use of the information thus obtained in the context of a disciplinary investigation” was not in line with the law and that the relevant legislation was violated both when the information was used for “purposes other than the one for which it had been gathered” and when it was not “destroyed within the 15-day time limit after the criminal investigation had ended.”