Six suspects, including Halkbank's ex-general manager, released in Turkey's massive graft probe
Süleyman Aslan is accused of corruption regarding illegal transfers of gold to Iran in exchange for money via Halkbank. DHA photoSix suspects in the massive graft probe that has engulfed the Turkish government, including the former general manager of state-run Halkbank, Süleyman Aslan, were released by an Istanbul court pending trial Feb. 14.
The court ruled for probationary conditions for all of the released suspects except Aslan, who will be able to travel, according to Anadolu Agency.
Aslan was considered one of the most important suspects in the case, after police seized $4.5 million in cash stashed in shoeboxes in his house during unprecedented raids carried out on Dec. 17.
Only five suspects now remain in custody, including Barış Güler, the son of the ex-Interior Minister Muammer Güler, and Kaan Çağlayan, the son of ex-Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, both detained during the Dec. 17 raids. Iranian-born Azeri businessman Reza Zarrab, who is thought to be the key name in the investigation, also remains in custody until further notice.
Both ministers announced their resignations shortly after their sons were detained and were replaced in the Dec. 25 Cabinet reshuffle.
The investigations have rocked the government, triggering purges within the police and the judiciary.
Halkbank’s former general manager, Aslan, was accused of corruption regarding illegal transfers of gold to Iran in exchange for money via Halkbank in partnership with a ring formed by Zarrab. These illegal transactions allegedly amount to almost $10 million.
However, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently said the cash found in Aslan’s house was “not the bank’s money.”
Erdoğan has repeatedly described the probes as an attempt to topple the government, saying it is being orchestrated by the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.