A former prosecutor, who is known for vindicating Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) leader Fetullah Gülen, has been sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison for being a member of the group. İsmail Aksoy was on trial at an Istanbul court on charges of aiding FETÖ and membership of the group, which is blamed for July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Aksoy had closed an investigation into Gülen in 2014, months after the group emerged as a national threat with two coup attempts in 2013. Aksoy cited "non-prosecution" for Gülen, though he was not officially authorized to supervise the case regarding the terrorist group's leader. He dodged prosecution for his decision at the time but was on trial again following the 2016 coup attempt.
The defendant was working as a prosecutor in the eastern city of Malatya when chief prosecutor's office in the city launched a probe into Gülen in January 2014, one month after infamous "Dec. 17-25 coup attempt" that saw FETÖ-linked judges, prosecutors and police chiefs attempting to detain names close to the government under the guise of a graft probe.
Aksoy is accused of approving an earlier decision by another FETÖ-linked prosecutor, who was dismissed from his post, not to follow up an investigation on the terrorist group. "Aksoy abused his duty by vindicating Gülen," the indictment against him reads. The prosecutor was also a user of ByLock, an encrypted messaging app developed by FETÖ for secret communications between its members. The indictment against him says he was also a regular at FETÖ meetings and donated money to the group.
Prior to his dismissal and subsequent arrest, the defendant was handling the notorious case of the Zirve publishing house murders. A German and two Turkish Christians were murdered by five men in the titular Bible publisher in Malatya in 2007 and FETÖ-linked prosecutors and judges were accused of attempts to tie the murders to "deep state" gang Ergenekon. A general, who was later acquitted, was even linked to the murders allegedly perpetrated by Ergenekon, which later turned out to be a concocted collection of people known for their opposition to FETÖ.
FETÖ is accused in multiple trials of organizing sham trials to stifle critics or anyone they deem an obstacle to their infiltration into the state. The terrorist group is known for its widespread infiltration in the judiciary, law enforcement, military and bureaucracy. Aksoy is accused of "forming an additional indictment" on the murders "upon instruction of Fetullah Gülen" and "caused many people to be treated as suspects" in the publishing house murders.