Suspects rush to court for release

Suspects rush to court for release

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

Lawyers for a number of suspects in the match-fixing investigation demanded their clients’ release Nov. 25, citing a very recent amendment.

Parliament late Nov. 24 approved amendments to the law on violence in sports, reducing the sentence for match fixing to one to three years from five to 12 years.

Lawyers for Beşiktaş Vice-Chairman Serdal Adalı, Beşiktaş coach Tayfur Havutçu, Istanbul BB player İskender Alın and Sivasspor goalkeeper Korcan Çelikay demanded the court to release the suspects pending trial. However, prosecutor Mehmet Berk asked the court to reject the appeals.

The court was yet to determine a ruling when the Hürriyet Daily News went to print Nov. 25.

Although the amendment reduced the possible prison terms, it did not apply to all suspects in the match-fixing probe, as some suspects were also accused of being criminal gang members, including Fenerbahçe Chairman Aziz Yıldırım.

Last season’s Spor Toto Super League champions Fenerbahçe, runner-up Trabzonspor and Ziraat Turkish Cup winners Beşiktaş are the three high-profile teams involved in the ongoing match-fixing case. All risk being relegated from the top flight for the first time in their history. The Super League’s Sivasspor, Eskişehirspor and Istanbul BB, as well as League One sides Giresunspor and Diyarbakırspor, have also been involved in the case.

Many high-profile names, including Fenerbahçe Vice-Chairman Şekip Mosturoğlu, Sivasspor Chairman Mecnun Odyakmaz and former Eskişehirspor coach Bülent Uygun, were jailed pending trial.

The prosecutor’s indictment for the match-fixing case is currently being prepared and is expected to be released later this month.