Turkish court starts illegal spying trial

Trial begins for illegal spying probe accusing 28 suspects working in Turkish official telecommunication agency

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkish court began to hear illegal spying probe that investigates 28 former officials of two state agencies, the Telecommunications Directorate (TIB) and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) on Monday.  

The 2nd Ankara Heavy Penal Court has accepted an indictment introduced by a prosecutor which accuses 28 suspects of illegal wiretapping of high-ranking government officials.

The suspects have been accused in the indictment of “being a member of armed terrorist organisation, procurement of state secrets with aim of political and military espionage, attempting to remove the government of Republic of Turkey or preventing it from performing its duties, violation of the privacy of communications,  [as well as] damaging, destruction of or making inaccessible a system of data processing.”

The prosecutor prepared the indictment of 28 suspects who were working in the TIB and TUBITAK and allegedly organised illegal wiretapping of crypto and regular phones of the top senior officials of the state including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, Chief of General Staff Necdet Ozel, Constitutional Court President Hasim Kilic and members of the National Security Council (MGK).

Four suspects including former TIB Deputy Chair Osman Nihat Sen, Ayhan Yeni, Ozgur Oren and Imran Erguler pleaded not guilty at the first trial.

Accusing with deleting the data of wiretapping records which are alleged to be the documented evidence, Sen denied that he was part of any unlawful process and said “I didn’t delete any record.”

Meanwhile, the Information Technologies and Communication Institution (BTK) released a statement on Monday over the claims that accuse the BTK of deleting the data and drives of illegal records and that denied all the claims published by some media organs in Turkey.

The media which is known to have close ties to with the Gulen Movement that is accused of being behind the “parallel state,” claimed that the BTK had deleted several data and drives of the TIB.

The suspects had audited encrypted phones used by Erdogan, Davutoglu, and other politicians without a court decision and taken the audio files from the agencies they had worked in order to transfer to the archives of the Gulen Movement, or the “parallel state” structure, according to the indictment.

The movement, led by Fethullah Gulen - a US based preacher of Turkish origin - has been accused of establishing and leading a “parallel state,” composed of a network of followers who have infiltrated the judiciary, police force, and other state agencies and have attempted to take over these institutions.

TRTWorld and agencies