ErdoIan’s lawyer withdraws complaint against 2 suspects in bugging case

A lawyer representing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has withdrawn complaints against two suspects in a trial looking into claims of a bugging device allegedly found in Erdoganand’s office while he was prime minister.
The sixth hearing in the trial of 13 defendants accused of placing an audio surveillance device in Erdoganand’s office was held on Monday at the Ankara 7th High Criminal Court, with suspects ilker Usta, Sedat Zavar, Mehmet Yanduksel, Zeki Bulut, Hasan Palaz, Huriit GandOlbaii, Seyit Saydam, ibrahim Sari and Harun Yavuz in attendance.
Ali andOzkaya, the lawyer representing Erdogan, stated that they were withdrawing their complaint against GandOlbaii and Saydam, saying they do not believe the two are part of the group allegedly behind the bugging incident. andOzkaya stated that they also do not believe that Yanduksel is involved in the alleged crime, but do claim that he neglected his duty.
Hakan Yildiz, the defense lawyer for Zeki Bulut, said the lawyer representing Erdogan was making statements as if there was an organization behind the alleged crime and underlined that on the alleged charge of membership of an illegal organization the court ruled there was no case.
Hasan Handuseyin Taipinar, lawyer for defendants Zavar and Usta, claimed that there was no evidence of the crimes attributed to his clients and asked for the court to hear the experts who prepared the reports on the bugging case.
The court rejected the demand to hear the experts but decided to give additional time to prepare their defense to the suspects. The trial adjourned to June 1.
The 13 suspects in the current case face charges of wiretapping with the aim of political espionage, violating the privacy of interpersonal communication and recording interpersonal conversation without permission. In their indictment the prosecutors seek up to 36 years imprisonment, stating that conversations in Erdoganand’s office were illegally monitored between Nov. 24, 2011 and Dec. 29, 2011.
The public learned about the bugging incident 11 months later, when Erdogan publicly announced the incident in December 2012.
Palaz, the former vice president of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TanduBiTAK), is being held in Sincan Prison after being arrested in late March in the bugging probe. Palaz has said he was made a scapegoat because he did not falsify a report about the bugging as he was requested to by Erdoganand’s aisers.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman