Justice minister regrets under-trial prosecutor’s appointment to Cumhuriyet probe

Justice minister regrets under-trial prosecutor’s appointment to Cumhuriyet probe

Justice minister regrets under-trial prosecutor’s appointment to Cumhuriyet probe Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has expressed “regret” that a prosecutor who is facing charges over Gülenist links was appointed to probe daily Cumhuriyet’s writers and executives for alleged ties to the movement, which is widely believed to have staged the coup attempt on July 15.
“It is unfortunate that this probe was given to that prosecutor. I wish such an appointment had not taken place. Someone else could have done it pretty well too. We do not have the jurisdiction to change the prosecutors. It is totally under the chief prosecutor’s jurisdiction. But I want to say that there were no bad intentions here,” said Bozdağ. 

Bozdağ’s remarks came after reports emerged on the same day claiming the prosecutor in the probe against Cumhuriyet’s columnists and executive board members was currently under trial in an espionage probe dating back to 2011 regarding fabricated evidence.

The report said prosecutor Murat İnam was one of the 54 suspects who were charged with carrying out the Selam-ı Tevhid probe against a number of military personnel, civil servants and politicians in 2011.

The case was allegedly led by Gülenists.

As part of the espionage case in which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was also a plaintiff along with 996 people, 49 of the 54 suspected judges and prosecutors were dismissed from their positions, one was retired while the four remaining ones are still carrying out their legal duties.

Speaking during a parliamentary session, Bozdağ also confirmed that İnam was one of the four names whose trials are still ongoing. Bozdağ added that İnam was not among the names who were dismissed amid the probe against them due to “lack of evidence that would require such an action.” 

He, however, added that the trial of the suspected legal personnel were continuing and that İnam should have been dismissed but that it was the Turkish High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) who would make the final decision.

Bozdağ also gave details about charges against İnam as part of the espionage probe, saying he was suspected of carrying out improper wiretapping.

Bozdağ also clarified reports alleging that an OdaTV reporter who made the news about İnam’s suspected ties to Gülenists was detained, claiming the reports were not true and that there was no legal action taken against the reporter unearthing the facts about the prosecutor, according to information given by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.