Ex-envoy faces 12.5 years in jail
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsA prosecutor is seeking 12.5 years imprisonment for a former ambassador charged with smuggling 931 bottles of wine and six bottles of champagne.
The indictment prepared by Mehmet Cihan Kısa, a prosecutor in Ankara, also lists transportation and depot workers who served in transporting the alcohol drinks without tax stamps from Strasbourg to Turkey as suspects, Anatolia news agency reported yesterday.
Kısa said the investigation of Batıbay, the country’s former permanent representative to the Council of Europe, had started following a tip-off received by the Customs Protection Directorate of the Customs and Commerce Ministry. The informant said there had been around 50 bottles of undeclared alcoholic drinks among the goods transported from Strasbourg to Turkey by Batıbay.
At the time, news reports said that shortly after his duty in Strasbourg was over in the summer of 2011, Batıbay allegedly wrapped the wine bottles in old clothes and brought them to Turkey in a truck that was not searched because of diplomatic immunity.In his testimony during the investigation, Batıbay said 153 of those bottles were brought to the country during his frequent visits over his tenure.