A Turkish prosecutor has announced that he seeks life sentences for 59 suspects, among them police chiefs who led Dec 25, 2013 corruption operation against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son Bilal Erdogan and some pro-government businessmen.
Istanbul prosecutor Ramazan Gökce revealed the final version of the accusations during a court hearing on Nov 29. The indictment seeks aggravated life sentences for 59 suspects including former police chiefs Yakub Saygılı, Kazım Aksoy, Yasin Topçu and Mahir Çakallı on charges of “attempting to overthrow the government.”
Aggravated life imprisonment means the suspects, if convicted, have to spend the rest of their lives in solitary confinement, without the possibility of parole.
Bilal Erdogan, several pro-government businessmen were among 96 people who were accused of “being part of and leading a criminal organization, bid rigging and bribery,” in Dec 25, 2013 investigation which was launched a week after a similar probe. A total of 89 people including sons of four cabinet ministers, a top public banker, an Istanbul mayor close to Erdogan and many businessmen were detained on corruption charges.
Erdogan has defied the charges, reshuffling some 6,000 police officers and many other judicial members in the very aftermath of the investigations. A subsequent crackdown sent thousands into prison.