Removed prosecutor wanted over 100 years for graft suspects, indictments to be rewritten

Removed prosecutor wanted over 100 years for graft suspects, indictments to be rewritten

Removed prosecutor wanted over 100 years for graft suspects, indictments to be rewritten

The suspects in the graft probe include prominent businessmen. CİHAN photo

The main prosecutor of the massive graft probe that has shaken the Turkish government wanted sentences of over 100 years to be given to suspects before he was removed from the case, according to reports.

The prosecutor currently in charge of the files has said he will now write the indictments from scratch. 

Prosecutor Celal Kara was preparing to send two separate indictments demanding heavy sentences for many high-profile suspects to court, before being removed from the case this week, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Jan. 31, quoting sources from the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor still working on the case, Ekrem Aydıner, told daily Hürriyet that he would write new indictments for the case.

“As the investigation is still ongoing, I have not yet written my indictment. I will write it by myself,” Aydıner told Hürriyet on Jan. 31.

Kara was removed from the case after yet another controversial reassignment on Jan. 29, amid a vast purge that involved 90 of the 192 prosecutors appointed in Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse. He had conducted the probe since its earliest phases and ordered the Dec. 17 raids, during which the sons of three ex-ministers were detained.

Two new prosecutors were appointed to the case shortly after the Dec. 17 raids, raising concerns over political interventions into the investigation. Only Aydıner is still working on the case, and it remains unclear whether new prosecutors will be assigned.

One suspect faced 336 years in jail

Daily Cumhuriyet said 15 suspects had been charged in the main indictment, including one businessman accused of being involved in over 100 bribery affairs. A suspect, allegedly at the center of the bribery network, was facing up to 336 years in jail in the indictment, while prosecutors asked for 137 years in jail for another key suspect.

The second indictment was connected to the violation of the cultural heritage protection law, the report said. 

The high-profile suspects of the case include the sons of three ministers, prominent businessmen and state officials.

All three ministers were removed from the Cabinet last month in an unexpected reshuffle that came soon after the investigations opened.

The government responded to the probes with mass purges within the police and judiciary. A prosecutor of a second graft probe was controversially removed late December, and revealed after his removal that his detention orders were not carried out. Reports revealed that many of the suspects were businessmen known for their close ties with the government.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) accuses the movement of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen of orchestrating the investigations. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly described the network as “parallel state” aiming to damage the government.