Prosecution requests 23 yrs in prison for espionage suspects

Prosecution in Turkey bugging trial requests for 23 years jail time for two main suspects over espionage charges on Monday

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Prosecutor Saban Yavuz on Monday requested 23 years imprisonment for two former police officers who are the main suspects in an espionage investigation for the illegal bugging of Prime Ministry offices in the seventh trial of the case.

The two main suspects, former police chief Sedat Zavar and former police officer Ilker Usta, who were found to be fugitives in Romania, were extradited to Turkey on March 28.

The probe investigates claims that the office of then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was bugged between the dates of Nov. 24, 2011 to Dec. 29, 2011 and Erdogan’s house in the Kecioren district of Ankara was bugged between the dates of Nov. 25 2011 to Dec. 29, 2011.

It alleges that bugging devices were found placed in multi sockets in Erdogan’s home, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) headquarters, and the Office of Prime Ministry during a search conducted by the National Intelligence Organization (MIT).

The prosecution also asked another suspect in the case, former Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) Vice President Hasan Palaz, to be jailed for 9 years and six months on charges of “providing technical support, preventing the inspection of dates the bugs were implemented, and therefore helping the main suspects.”

The 7th Ankara Heavy Penal Court is trying 13 suspects allegedly involved in illegal wiretapping of the offices of Erdogan.

The charges against the suspects are “political and military spying” and “violation of privacy by public employees.”

Meanwhile, the prosecution asked the court to release seven suspects, including former head of the Office of the Prime Minister’s Guard Mehmet Yuksel, for not enough evidence being present against them, and for three fugitive suspects to be tried separately to avoid any delays in the trials.

The court set the next trial date as June 26.

TRTWorld and agencies