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Iran Press TV

20 Turkish police charged in wiretapping probe

Iran Press TV

Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:27PM GMT

Turkish prosecutors have charged 20 police officers with forging official documents and illegally eavesdropping on top officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

According to a Saturday report by Turkey's Dogan news agency, at least 20 former police officers have been indicted since Friday and remanded in custody pending a possible trial.

The report added that former Istanbul police intelligence chief Ali Fuat Yilmazer was separately charged with "forming and running a criminal gang" among other offences.

More than 100 serving and former police officers were arrested last week as part of a wiretapping investigation which came ahead of an August 10 presidential election in which Erdogan is standing.

The officers are accused of fabricating a probe as cover for wiretaps on top figures since 2010, including Erdogan, journalists, cabinet members and the head of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization, Hakan Fidan.

Many of the police officers arrested were involved in an anti-government corruption probe and were removed from their posts earlier this year.

Turkey plunged into political crisis after dozens of government officials and prominent businessmen close to the Turkish premier were arrested for inquiry on graft charges on December 17, 2013.

The scandal, which turned into a very serious challenge to Erdogan's rule, led to a cabinet reshuffle.

Erdogan denounced the corruption scandal as well as a string of damaging leaks in the media, saying they were engineered by supporters of his rival Fethullah Gulen to undermine his government. Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, has repeatedly denied any involvement.

MR/AB



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