Thirteen suspects charged with ‘political espionage’ for wiretapping of Turkish President Erdoğan
AA PhotoThe top prosecutor’s office in the Turkish capital Ankara has finally completed an investigation into the illegal wiretapping of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, charging 13 suspects with “political espionage.”
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has drafted the indictment in the investigation, the semi-official Anadolu Agency reported on Nov. 18
Back in February 2014, then-Prime Minister Erdoğan described the illegal wiretapping of his home and office as “espionage.”
“The illegal wiretapping of my house is espionage. The necessary steps regarding this have been made. A very confidential file has been sent to the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office, but even that has been disclosed to the press,” he said at the time.
He had made public on Dec. 21, 2012 that wiretapping devices had been found in his Prime Ministry office and home.
According to news reports, an investigation launched into the case in February 2013 was transferred to a prosecutor’s office dealing with anti-terror cases, on the grounds that it involved an espionage crime.
The indictment was drafted by Prosecutor Durak Çetin from the Office in Charge of Investigating Crimes Committed against the Constitutional Order, and was sent to the Ankara 7th Heavy Penal Court, semi-official Anadolu Agency reported on Nov. 18.
While the suspects were charged with “political espionage,” President Erdoğan was cited as the “complainant” in the indictment, it also noted.
Among the 13 suspects, two are former directors of the country’s scientific watchdog, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).
The Ankara 7th Heavy Penal Court has 15 days either to accept or reject the indictment. If no rejection decision comes within this period of time, it will be assumed that the indictment has been accepted.
Accordingly, the court will try the suspects on charges of “political and military espionage,” covered under Article 328 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). The court may therefore demand that the suspects be jailed for between 15 and 20 years.