Prosecutor charges suspects in wiretapping case with ‘attempting to annul gov’t’

Prosecutor charges suspects in wiretapping case with ‘attempting to annul gov’t’

Prosecutor charges suspects in wiretapping case with ‘attempting to annul gov’t’

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's Presidential Palace complex is pictured in Ankara, Turkey, May 28, 2015. Reuters Photo

Some 28 people working at Turkey’s top science body and top telecommunications authority illegally eavesdropped encrypted phones of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and a number of other officials without court order, the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office has stated in an indictment. It also claimed that the group transferred these voice recordings to the archives of the so-called
“Pro-Fetullah Terror Organization [Fetullahçı Terör Örgütü]/Parallel State Structure.” 

One recording purportedly featuring a conversation between then-Prime Minister Erdoğan and his son Bilal is “a montage created from more than one recording,” stated the same indictment, which was accepted by the Ankara 2nd Heavy Penal Court on June 1.

The indictment demanded the trial of the 28 suspects on charges of “attempting to annul the government of the Republic of Turkey; or attempting to partially or entirely block the government from performing its duties.” 

Six suspects who worked at the Informatics and Information Security Research Center (BİLGEM) of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) were in charge of the design of software and hardware of the “MILCEP-K2 Crypto Mobile Phone,” said the indictment.

Some 161 MILCEP-K2 model phones were distributed to top civilian and military officials including the president, the parliament speaker, the prime minister, ministers, the president of the Constitutional Court, the chief of General Staff, the undersecretary of the Prime Ministry, the undersecretary of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), advisers of the prime minister, and the undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, as well as to top judicial and security officials.

The phones were distributed on Dec. 25, 2012 and were used until June 26, 2014.

The six suspects at BİLGEM coordinated eavesdropping with “other organization executives and members” working at the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB), according to the indictment.

The Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office accused the suspects who worked at the TİB of “taking voice recordings from the institution and transferring them to the archives of the Fetullahçı Terör Örgütü/Parallel State Structure.”

Defendants, who deleted the data at the TİB, wiretapped the communications of senior politicians and bureaucrats and provided confidential information for the purpose of political and military espionage, the indictment added. 

"The secrecy of communications of senior politicians and bureaucrats was violated in an organized way and the voice recordings were used in line with the goals and interests of the Fetullahçı Terör Örgütü," it stated, adding that these recordings were then used for “montages” and published by media outlets linked to the organization.