Wiretapping suspects ‘monitored private lives’
Toygun Atilla HÜRRİYET / ISTANBUL
Many of the officers detained last week were involved in those corruption probes and have interpreted the current case as politically motivated.The suspects detained on charges of “illegal wiretapping, spying and fraud” in an operation on July 22 had been monitoring the private lives of the people they allegedly wiretapped illegally, according to authorities.
According to the results of studies conducted at the anti-terror department of the Istanbul police, private conversations recorded as part of a probe into the Selam-Tevhid organization were filed even though they were allegedly irrelevant to the investigation.
A total of 31 police officers were arrested earlier this week after 115 police officers were detained in overnight raids July 22 on charges of illegal wiretapping, spying and fraud.
The investigation came after two corruption probes into high-profile figures from political and business circles was interpreted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as an operation aimed at toppling the government.
Many of the officers detained last week were involved in those corruption probes and have interpreted the current case as politically motivated.
The transcripts of the private conversations were being kept on over 32,000 pages in 37 folders, the study has revealed. In addition, the suspects also recorded the meetings of Selam Tevhid probe suspects with other men and women and took photographs of those meetings.
The reason why such records were kept although they were irrelevant to the investigation was one of the questions directed to the illegal wiretapping suspects during the interrogation stage. While some suspects avoided answering the question, others said they were legally required to transcribe the phone conversations.
The file on the illegal wiretapping suspects also included the transcripts of phone conversations by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Hakan Fidan, head of National Intelligence Agency (MİT). Fidan’s 123 conversations were recorded as part of the Selam-Tevhid organization probe.
Erdoğan’s phone talks with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Nov. 26, 2013, Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh on Nov. 28, 2013, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Dec. 3, 2013, were also recorded and included in the Selam-Tevhid probe.