Eyes on judiciary following corruption investigation

Published 29.10.2010 10:38

A corruption investigation involving the judiciary has revealed serious questionable practices in the country's judicial system. A former jurist from the Supreme Court of Appeals has been detained for allegedly covering up evidence, while another jurist also suspected of illegal activity could not be detained as he still held office and thus had immunity at the time the alleged crimes were committed.

The two judges, now both retired, are accused of forcing a judgment in the case of the İstanbul World Trade Center (İDTM) vs. CNR.

The former head of the 12th Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals, judge Mustafa O.,
who was already retired at the time of the illegal activity, was taken into custody. After being questioned for four days, he was arrested and jailed based on the "possibility of covering up evidence." If a case is taken up against him, he will be tried at the Ankara High Criminal Court.

Officials were unable to take the second suspect, the former head of the 6th Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals, Hasan E., into custody because at the when time the crimes were committed he had immunity from prosecution as he was still serving as a judge.

Hasan E.'s situation will be investigated by Osman Yaşar, currently the head of the 4th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals. Yaşar is expected to be a candidate for the position of head of the top court. Officials say that a case against Hasan E. is not certain at this time as the top court's presidential council's decision will be required.

A similar event was experienced during another investigation in which former State Security Court (DGM) prosecutor Ömer Süha Aldan, who discovered that members of the judiciary were trying to manipulate legal cases in the "Neşter" (Scalpel) operation, was removed from office at a specially authorized high criminal court and assigned as an ordinary prosecutor at the Ankara Courthouse.

In another case, a member of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) was forced to resign after claims that he received bribes from suspects in a case in 2004. Ergül Güryel, then-vice president of the HSYK, left his position after an invitation to do so by the Supreme Court of Appeals.

Corruption allegations against the members of the Supreme Court of Appeals are not new. The specially authorized prosecutors investigating the implementation of the Action Plan to Fight Reactionaryism in Erzurum were stripped of all their powers. Then members of the Supreme Court of Appeals paid a congratulatory visit to the HSYK and the same high judges brought photocopies of the investigation files of the Erzurum High Criminal Court to the Supreme Court of Appeals, eventually releasing the defendants.

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