Second Heavy Penal Court of Ankara released three suspects that were former employees of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) on Wednesday who were accused of “destroying, concealing or changing criminal evidence, and forgery in official documents.”
The court ruled to free three suspects including former TUBITAK vice chair Hasan Palaz and experts at the institution, Gokhan Vicil and Hamza Turhan, who were jailed for about 100 days at Ankara’s Sincan prison pending trial over the charges after paying the bail of 100,000 Turkish liras.
Palaz who is accused of forging documents regarding the bugging and illegal wiretapping of the offices, residence and encrypted phones of then prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2011.
He was arrested on April 6 over charges of preparing a false bug report about the wiretapping incident, which was allegedly prepared by two employees who did not have the necessary expertise to carry out the task.
During the trial, Palaz denied the claims that he had “forged the documents” and that he is a member of a criminal organisation, adding that he did not know the other suspects.
Palaz is also accused of being a member of “parallel state” formed by the Gulen Movement which allegedly infiltrated the country’s highest institutions, including the judiciary and the police, with the aim of overthrowing the government.
The Gulen Movement is led by US-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen who is considered to possess considerable sway over its followers.
Palaz recently published a book named “You have ruined my life, Mr Bug!” in which he claims to have been declared a “scapegoat” for not submitting to “bullying.”