Indictments accepted against massive graft probes’ judge and prosecutors
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Hürriyet PhotoThe Bakırköy 16th Court of Serious crimes has accepted an indictment against prosecutors Celal Kara and Muammer Akkaş, who oversaw two massive corruption probes, on charges of “malpractice,” along with an indictment of “negligence” against judge Süleyman Karaçöl, who presided over one of the probe cases.
The court sent the three suspects a notice demanding their defenses and possible related evidence. The 2nd Chamber of the Supreme Judges and Prosecutors Board (HSYK) first permitted an investigation into Kara, the prosecutor of the Dec. 17, 2013, massive corruption probe, Akkaş, the prosecutor of the Dec. 25, 2013, corruption probe and Süleyman Karaçöl, the judge of Dec. 25 corruption probe, on March 3.
After the HSYK 2nd Chamber’s decision, the Bakırköy court accepted the indictments prepared by the Bakırköy Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The indictment stated that “Kara demanded the seizure of the wealth of legal entities, without collecting all the evidence on behalf of or against the suspects for a fair judicial process and presented no concrete evidence that the crime was committed or that the suspect’s possessions were gained as a result of the crime.”
The Bakırköy Prosecutor’s Office demanded earlier that prosecutor Akkaş be sentenced to three years in prison for misconduct.
It also said Akkaş distributed a statement in front of the courthouse, which said his right to prosecution had been prevented after the files were taken from him, claiming his flier distribution constituted “malpractice.”
In a separate indictment, Karaçöl, who ordered detentions, seizures and arrest warrants for the names implicated in the graft investigation, was threatened with up to two years in prison.
Kara is expected to be tried by the Supreme Court of Appeals because he is a first-degree judge and a prosecutor.
Kara, along with Akkaş, Zekeriya Öz and Mehmet Yüzgeç, has been suspended by the HSYK on the grounds that his continued presence in the office would “harm the clout and reputation of the judiciary.”
Businessmen, officials and four cabinet members were embroiled in the wide-ranging corruption probes as suspects. The four ministers, Egemen Bağış, Erdoğan Bayraktar, Zafer Çağlayan and Muammer Güler, resigned from their posts after news of the probe broke. Months after the investigations were quashed, all four were acquitted by a parliamentary vote on the claims.