İzmir mayor faces 397 years in prison

İzmir mayor faces 397 years in prison

İZMİR - Doğan News Agency
İzmir mayor faces 397 years in prison

İzmir Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu is also accused of managing a crime syncdicate.

A specially authorized prosecutor has requested nearly 400 years of imprisonment for Aziz Kocaoğlu, the mayor of the Aegean province of İzmir from the opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP), on 33 charges in relation to fraud allegations. 

An İzmir court yesterday accepted the 400-page indictment prepared by specially authorized Chief Prosecutor Birol Çengil, thereby tacitly removing the order of secrecy on the trial. 

Kocaoğlu stands accused of 33 charges, including official misconduct, forgery, bribery, embezzlement, rigging state tenders, concealing a crime, protecting criminals and establishing and managing a crime syndicate.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz also visited the opposition mayor in his office yesterday and voiced his support. “We trust our mayor. Hopefully, we are going to jointly carry the central government and İzmir into the 21st century,” Defense Minister Yılmaz said. 

The indictment identified Kocaoğlu as the leading suspect and the head of the criminal syndicate. The prosecution has demanded 397 years in prison for the opposition mayor. 

The indictment also implicates Ersu Hızır, the municipality’s former secretary general, and Pervin Şenel Genç, the municipality’s current secretary general who remains under arrest, on the grounds of managing a crime syndicate, according to reports. 

Police raided İzmir’s Karabağlar Municipality and neighboring Aydın province’s Kuşadası Municipality on May 2, 2011, in connection with fraud claims. The police initially detained 44 people, 10 of whom were later released. Sixteen high-level bureaucrats from the municipality are currently under arrest pending trial.