Money seized in Dec 17 corruption probe to be repaid with interest

Money seized in Dec 17 corruption probe to be repaid with interest

Fırat Alkaç ISTANBUL
Money seized in Dec 17 corruption probe to be repaid with interest Millions of Turkish Liras found and seized as part of the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption probe from the houses of former Interior Minister Muammer Güler’s son, Barış Güler, and former Halkbank General Manager Süleyman Aslan, will be repaid with interest, after an objection to the dismissal of the probe was cancelled.

Some 400,000 Turkish Liras (around 300,000 euros, or $100,000) was seized from Güler’s house in the Dec. 17 police raids. The confiscated money was then held in a public bank.

Money amounting to around $2.5 million (1.5 million euros) was seized from Aslan’s house and held in a public bank, and will be returned to the Istanbul Governor’s Office due to the dismissal of the probe.

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office will now return the money seized from the homes of Aslan and Güler with interest.

Aslan’s lawyer, Ersan Şen, said his client will apply to the governor’s office to get the money back. Şen also said the seized money was mostly made up of donations, but some of Aslan’s personal money was part of the larger sum that was confiscated.

The graft probe was officially dropped on Dec. 16 when the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office rejected an objection to its decision to not pursue proceedings in the case.

As a result of the decision, prosecutors will not pursue corruption charges against 53 people, including Iranian-Azerbaijani businessman Reza Zarrab, Barış Güler, and Kaan Çağlayan, the son of former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan.

An Istanbul prosecutor from the anti-terror and organized crime unit of Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office had decided on Oct. 17 not to proceed against the 53 graft suspects who were detained on that day.

Prosecutor Ekrem Aydıner had pointed to a lack of grounds for legal action against the suspects.

According to the semi-official Anadolu Agency, Aydıner found “problems with the evidence,” “no proof of criminal elements,” or any such other conspiracy.