Jail time looming for bus firm owner

Jail time looming for bus firm owner

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Jail time looming for bus firm owner

A prosecutor has asked for between 55 and 145 years of jail time for Metro Holding Chairman Galip Öztürk, for bullying rivals and practicing bribery. Hürriyet photo

A Turkish prosecutor has asked for a sentence of between 55 and 145 years for Metro Holding Chairman Galip Öztürk on charges that he threatened rivals, practiced bribery and acquired rival companies at less than their actual value.

Öztürk owns Metro Tourism, a major bus company, and holds the management rights for the Istanbul Bus Terminal.

Police detained 38 people in Istanbul during a raid on Metro Holding on March 18. Öztürk had been detained on extortion charges together with eight others nearly one month before the raid.

There are high profile public servants among the list of 70 suspects that are accused of organizing a crime syndicate for profit, according to the indictment filed by Istanbul Public Prosecutor Muammer Akkaş.

Among them is Prime Ministry Deputy Undersecretary A.E., for whom the prosecutor asked for a sentence between one and a half and four and a half years.

Öztürk used his private links in the bureaucracy to eliminate with probes on unfair competition that were launched against the Metro Tourism, the indictment said, adding that Öztürk employed former public servants to be able to use their relations with their former public employers.

The crime syndicate led by Öztürk has maintained relations with officials from the judiciary, police, gendarmerie, intelligence service and the Capital Markets Board (SPK) for illegal benefits, the indictment also said. The syndicate allegly sent gifts to the members of SPK.

Öztürk had allegedly received information about the operations launched against him in March this year and was detained as he left his home while trying to escape to Bulgaria by car, the 427 page indictment read.