High court rules for retrial of Fenerbahçe chairman Yıldırım in match-fixing case
Fenerbahçe chairman Aziz Yıldırım waves a flag in a protest rally against the match-fixing case. Yıldırım and many Fenerbahçe fans have claimed that the match-fixing case was a plot against the Istanbul club. DHA photoThe 13th Istanbul High Criminal Court ruled June 23 for the retrial of several convicted suspects, including Fenerbahçe’s outspoken chairman Aziz Yıldırım, in the match-fixing case that had shaken the country’s football scene.
The court has accepted the retrial of the suspects for charges of being a member of a criminal organization, while it rejected Yıldırım’s demand for retrial on the grounds that the investigation was part of a plot against the convicted suspects.
Yıldırım, whose appeal into his six-year, three-month match-fixing case was rejected by Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals in January, is facing at least two years in prison if the verdict stands.
The convicted suspects were able to file yet another appeal after the Specially Authorized Courts, which also oversaw the match-fixing case, were abolished last March.
The prosecutor of the case, Mirza Coşkun, pleaded for a retrial, arguing Yıldırım had been mistakenly accused regarding some of the charges, while others were aggravated compared to the information contained in the investigation files.
Fenerbahçe officials, who have repeatedly denounced a conscious persecution against the club, were quick to hail the ruling.
“We want a fair trial. We didn’t ask for amnesty,” the club’s spokesperson Mahmut Uslu told daily Hürriyet following the ruling.
“80 percent of the Turkish people believe this has been an unfair trial,” he added.
Fenerbahçe was banned for two years from all European competitions due to the match-fixing allegations, a ban that was put into force this year after a stay of execution.
Despite having clinched the league title, Fenerbahçe will be unable to participate in the Champions League next year due to the ban.