Erdoğan drops complaints against two suspects over wiretapping

Erdoğan drops complaints against two suspects over wiretapping

Mesut Hasan Belli - ANKARA
Erdoğan drops complaints against two suspects over wiretapping

DHA Photo

Lawyers for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have dropped complaints about two of the 13 suspects in a case into wiretapping against him during his time as prime minister. 

“I met with the president. He gave an instruction saying ‘In the Balyoz [Sledgehammer] and Ergenekon coup plot cases, everybody on trial was put in the same basket. Do not make the same mistakes,’” said Erdoğan’s lawyer Ali Özkaya.

Complaints about two suspected police officers, Seyit Saydam and Hurşit Gölbaşı, were dropped upon this instruction, Özkaya added. 

He said the other suspects acted in an “organized way,” but his personal opinion was that suspects Gölbaşı and Saydam were not part of this structure, and had only conducted their duties. 

Özkaya was speaking on May 24 at the Ankara 7th High Criminal Court in the sixth hearing in the trial of defendants accused of placing an audio surveillance device in Erdoğan’s office.

Suspects İlker Usta, Sedat Zavar, Mehmet Yüksel, Zeki Bulut, Hasan Palaz, Hurşit Gölbaşı, Seyit Saydam, İbrahim Sarı and Harun Yavuz all attended the hearing. 

Özkaya also said he does not believe that Mehmet Yüksel, chief security officer, was actively involved in the alleged crime, but neglected his duty by not preventing it.

The other suspects face charges of wiretapping with the aim of political espionage, violating the privacy of interpersonal communication, and recording private conversations without permission.

Prosecutors seek up to 36 years imprisonment, saying conversations in Erdoğan’s office were illegally monitored between Nov. 24, 2011 and Dec. 29, 2011.

Meanwhile, the police department has told the court that it does not know where and how the six bugging devices purchased in Denmark were used for. 

The police department notified the court about six “LOKE III” model bugging devices purchased from Cobbam/Spectronic in 2009-2013, but said the devices have no record in the inventory of the organization and there is even no information about where they were used.