Ex-police chief denies responsibility for ErdoIan’s ‘zero’ recording

A former Istanbul chief of police, who is one of the police officers imprisoned as a result of government-backed operations, has said he does not know who is behind the wiretapping of a controversial phone conversation between then-Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son Bilal, as he called for voice analysis to be undertaken to test the authenticity of the recording.
Former Istanbul Police Department Financial Crimes Unit chief Yakub Saygili is among the senior members of the police force who were arrested by an Istanbul court in September 2014 on accusations of working to overthrow the government.
Saygili was head of a team of police officers that carried out the corruption and bribery operations on Dec. 17 and 25, 2013, which implicated senior members of the government and their relatives. He was removed from his position shortly after the operations.
The former police chief, who is currently incarcerated in Silivri Prison, was asked some questions by Interior Ministry inspectors as part of an ongoing investigation against him. Saygili was asked to respond in writing. But before answering the questions, the former police chief wrote a manifesto-like introduction in which he explained how law has been suspended in Turkey by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government since the graft probe was made public. A news portal, grihat.com, published the text of that introduction on Wednesday.
One of the issues Saygili focused on in the introductory part of his deposition concerned an alleged voice recording between Erdogan and his son Bilal, which was posted online in March 2014.
In the recording, Erdogan and Bilal allegedly discuss how to hide huge sums of cash on the day police raided a number of locations as part of the Dec. 17 corruption investigation.
In the voice recording, Erdogan seems to be warning Bilal about cash stashed in several houses. It was not possible to decipher from the conversations how much money was involved or in how many houses, but an introductory note at the beginning of the video stated that the plan involved at least $1 billion in cash stashed in five houses.
The conversation allegedly took place on Dec. 17, when prosecutors ordered police to raid dozens of addresses to collect evidence.
Saygili said the developments that ended up with the suspension of law in Turkey began after voice recordings in which then-Prime Minister Erdogan mobilized all members of his family to and”zeroand” the money in his house were leaked into the public realm.
and”I donand’t know who recorded these phone conversations. I launched a criminal complaint concerning the issue. Although the voice recordings were not used against individuals [because they were acquired illegally] since I was victimized by this crime, [revealing the masterminds] will be evidence in my favor. If you want, a voice analysis should be made so that everyone could see whether they are a montage. It is not necessary for the truth to be revealed officially. It is very obvious,and” he said.
Saygili as well as dozens of other police officers that took part in the corruption probe are accused of illegal wiretapping, a charge they deny.
In his deposition, the former police chief also accused public prosecutor ismail Uandcar, who launched an investigation against some police officers including Saygili that led to their detention on Sept. 1, of being involved in the forgery of official documents.
He said Uandcar led to the arrest of all the police officers that took part in the Dec. 25 graft probe without taking a look at the evidence in a hard disk against the Dec. 25 suspects.
Saygili said despite the 18 months that had elapsed since the Dec. 25 operation, it turned out that Uandcar has still not opened the hard disk, which included evidence against the suspects, or seen any of the evidence against them. Despite this, Saygili said Uandcar prepared a 30-page-long report according to which he ruled for lack of grounds for legal action against the Dec. 25 suspects and which led to the arrest of the police officers conducting the probe.
Among the main suspects of the Dec. 25 investigation was President Erdoganand’s son Bilal, businessmen Mehmet Cengiz, Mustafa Latif Topbai and Yasin al-Qadi, a Saudi businessman who is on the US Treasury Departmentand’s and”Specially Designated Global Terroristand” list.
In Saygiliand’s introduction to his deposition, the ex-police chief said just because the Constitution says a country is ruled by a state of law, it is not necessarily so.
and”If constitutional assurances are perfectly fulfilled by the executive power, if the judiciary works independently and impartially, then judicial security would have been maintained and the state would be a state of law,and” he said.
The AK Party government is receiving strong criticism for creating a partisan judiciary in Turkey, particularly after 2013and’s graft probe following which the government reassigned thousands of judges and prosecutors to new jobs while Turkey has also seen the disbarment from their profession of several prosecutors and one judge who took part in the graft probe. Some judges have also been arrested for their rulings in cases that have angered the government.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman