Prosecutor sues both gov’t paper and Istanbul chief prosecutor

Ankara Today’s Zaman / Adnan Cimen, the former prosecutor investigating the Iran-backed terrorist organization Tawhid-Salam, has filed a lawsuit against the government media outlet Yeni Safak for fabricated reports claiming that as many as 3,000 people were wiretapped as part of the investigation of the Salam terrorist group, claiming that the reports violated investigation secrecy, allowing the suspects to learn of the probe.

Prosecutor Cimen also announced that he would sue Istanbul Chief Prosecutor Hadi Salihoglu for making a statement supporting the claims printed in government media about the investigation.

Government newspaper reports in February claimed that thousands of people were wiretapped by prosecutors as part of an investigation into the Tawhid-Salam terrorist group (also known as the Jerusalem Army), disrupting the course of the investigation into the terrorist cell. The Yeni Safak daily alleged that some 3,000 people were wiretapped while another government paper, Star, claimed that the number of victims was closer to 7,000. The two partisan dailies also claimed that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, intellectuals, businesspeople and journalists were also among those who were wiretapped on the instructions of the two prosecutors of the case.

Responding to the allegations printed by media outlets in a 10-page written statement, prosecutor Cimen said that only 230 people had been wiretapped in three years of investigation.

Cimen also said that he would be filing a lawsuit against Istanbul Chief Prosecutor Hadi Salihoglu for a statement he made saying that 2,280 people were wiretapped in relation to the case based on orders from the court though there was no evidence in the file of any act of terrorism or plans for such activity. “The terrorist organization was fabricated,” Salihoglu said, shortly after the stories appeared in the press.

In his written statement, Cimen emphasized that both the government media outlets and Salihoglu compromised the investigation of the terrorist cell and tried to cover it up.

Cimen explained that an extension of the deep state was found to be functioning within the Tawhid-Salam terror group, and he noted that this deep structure and its allies had used the names of thousands of people who have no link to the probe in order to damage the investigation and deter the criminal prosecution.

However, despite what appear to be efforts to disrupt and discredit the investigation, the 9th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals recently upheld a guilty verdict of the 11th High Criminal Court for eight defendants who were accused of killing Turkish intellectuals Ugur Mumcu, Bahriye UCok, Muammer Aksoy and Ahmet Taner KıSlalı, as well as charges of being members of the terrorist Tawhid-Salam organization, in what is known of as the Umut case.

The ruling emphasized that the Supreme Court of Appeals had defined Tawhid-Salam as an armed terrorist organization in its previous verdict and affirmed that members of the organization received military and political training in Iran prior to being sent to Turkey to commit terrorist attacks on key points and figures.

The terrorist organization Tawhid-Salam is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations of recent times by the prosecutors who were conducting the investigation.

Cimen said in February that he had applied to the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) to investigate the claims mentioned in the articles in the dailies, adding that he would “let judicial council inspectors sort out the lies.” He said, “It is simply not possible to wiretap 7,000 people.”

In his petition, prosecutor Cimen has called the allegations about wiretapping thousands of people as part of the probe the “slander of the century,” and asked: “Who are these structures who are trying to create a chaotic atmosphere in Turkey through unsolved murders and who is behind the organization? Why was the investigation, which had been conducted in secrecy for three years, uncovered? Did anyone ask the Istanbul chief prosecutor to make a statement confirming the fabricated reports in media about the investigation?”

After a government corruption scandal exploded in December 2013 that implicates Erdogan’s inner circle, including then-Cabinet ministers and their sons, it is alleged by some that the government has sought to distract attention from the scandal, and that the claims about mass wiretapping and a fabricated terrorist organization were part of this effort.


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