Indirect mention of ‘parallel’ in the ‘bug’ case
The “bug” case, which is about two devices (one found in Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s private house and the other in his office at the prime ministry), ended at the beginning of July. This case was the first one in the “parallel structure” investigations that were launched in Turkey after Dec. 17 and 25, 2013, graft operations.
Ankara 7th Criminal Court did not refer to the “Terror Organization of Fethullah” (FETÖ) template in its decision, whereas, this was seen frequently in other “parallel structure” cases.
The justified decision of the court is released; it still does not contain FETÖ or parallel structure” phrasing but there are references to the cases opened on these accounts.
One of the references is: “… a person named Hasan Akın who resides in the U.S. was in contact with certain people who were leading an organized structure in the police; it was found out through phone records and base station data.”
However, the other reference is the most striking: “The defendants were policemen at the time of the crime. It is not possible for them to have a personal interest in wiretapping the prime minister; however, they conducted this action within the framework of the interests of a structure organized within the security department. Their purpose was to use the information obtained for the interests of this structure they thought they were part of.” They then mentioned the defendants went abroad asking for asylum in countries where the “structure” was already present...
In this case, the prosecutor began prosecuting 13 defendants, 12 of them police and one the deputy head of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).
The first six defendants of the case were charged with planting the devices. They were Ali Özdoğan, Serhat Demir, Ahmet Türer, Sedat Zavar, Enes Çiğci and İlker Usta. Of these six, three are fugitives and the court could not rule about them; their files were separated.
Two of the defendants, İlker Usta and Sedat Zavar, were sentenced to seven years six months each. Ahmet Türer was acquitted for lack of evidence.
This is the situation of the first six of the 12 defendants wearing police uniforms. The second six are from the protection squad of the prime minister. Two of them have been directly acquitted because the complaints filed against them by the Prime Ministry were withdrawn. The remaining four were also acquitted, as their negligence in the planting of the devises was accepted.
Defendant number 13 was the former deputy head of TÜBİTAK, Hasan Palaz. The Ankara court acquitted Palaz for lack of evidence but a reference to another case involving Palaz was made at the verdict.
What I understand from all I have read is this: Yes, planting a bugging device in the office of the country’s prime minister is a very, very serious crime but this is the only crime attributed.
If any eavesdropping was done with this “bug”, where the recordings might be and what has been done with the information obtained from these records? There are no answers to these questions in the court verdict because the prosecutor was not able to answer these questions. They could not find any evidence because the issue was transformed into a legal investigation too late.