WikiLeaks ‘gossip material’

WikiLeaks ‘gossip material’

The Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office dismissed a complaint on Jan. 11 concerning Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s alleged improper benefit from eight accounts with Swiss banks. The claims were based on cables released by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

“Attributing evidence value to documents that are not confirmed to be evidence and that may be subjective value judgments or gossip material and overestimating activities of competitor countries that amount to intervention in the domestic affairs of a country in a virtual environment in regards to the law of the states may lead to unacceptable results in terms of universal legal principles,” the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Parliamentarians said in its dismissal of the complaint filed by the People’s Liberation Party on Dec. 3, 2010.

In November 2010, WikiLeaks released two cables sent by the U.S. Embassy in Ankara concerning Erdoğan’s financial assets and the way he made “his fortune.”

“We have heard from two contacts that Erdoğan has eight accounts in Swiss banks; his explanations that his wealth comes from wedding presents guests gave his son and that a Turkish businessman is paying the educational expenses of all four Erdoğan children in the U.S. purely altruistically are lame,” Eric Edelman, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey, wrote in a cable sent to Washington on Dec. 30, 2004.

The authority for investigating claims concerning the period during which Erdoğan held his prime ministry post belongs to Parliament, thus the prosecutor’s office decided not to launch an investigation. It also decided not to prosecute the claims regarding the period before his prime ministry.
No evidence concerning the claims has been found other than subjective documents that might have been arranged to be open to manipulation for diplomatic purposes, the office said.

At the time, in response to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), which was investigating the claims within the cables, Erdoğan had vowed to resign if they could prove that the allegations were accurate.