Turkey’s ‘bug trial’ probing espionage charges postponed until May 25

Highly anticipated trial concerning bugging of offices of then Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2011 postponed until May 25.

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The fifth trial of an espionage case which has been referred to as the “bug trial” by the Turkish press that begin on Monday at the 7th Ankara Heavy Penal Court to try 13 suspects allegedly involved in  illegal wiretapping of the offices of then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was postponed until May 25. 

The indictment claims the official office of the prime minister 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 suspects include former head of  the Office of the Prime Minister’s Guard, Mehmet Yuksel, and fugitive prime ministry staff member, Serhat Demir.

Former police chief Sedat Zavar and former police officer Ilker Usta, who were found as fugitives in Romania, were extradited to Turkey on March 28 and sent to Metris Prison in Istanbul.

In his testimony, Zavar said, “if we entered the offices, it must have been under the supervision of the officials. The person who gave me the order regarding this particular issue was Ali Ozdogan.”

Ozdogan is also a fugitive suspect in the case. 

Yuksel also said, “I did not give permission to anyone to search the offices of PM after I became the head of the guard office. If I knew of any search being conducted, I would have denied access,” during his testimony. 

In the meantime, it was reported that President Erdogan said to his attorney, Ali Ozkaya, that “if you are convinced of their innocence, you may withdraw complaints for suspects Seyit Saydam and Hursit Golbasi.”

Ozkaya said the decision on that would wait until the next trial.

TRTWorld and agencies