A court in Ankara has approved an indictment prepared by a public prosecutor as part of the investigation into alleged wiretapping conducted by members of the Gülen Movement of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's office when he was prime minister.
The Public Prosecutor from the Bureau of Investigation into Crimes against Constitutional Order, Durak Çetin, completed the bill of indictment and sent it to Ankara 11th High Criminal Court on Nov. 18.
Erdoğan revealed in late 2012 that a listening device had been found in his office and charges of political spying were brought against 13 suspects.
Former vice president of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, Hasan Palaz, was among those charged as well as police officers Ali Özdoğan, Serhat Demir, Sedat Zavar, Ahmet Turer, Enes Çiğci, İlker Usta, Hurşit Gölbaşı, Seyit Saydam, İbrahim Sari, Mehmet Yüksel, Zeki Bulut and Harun Yavuz. The suspects Özdoğan, Zavar, Turer, Çiğci and Usta were charged with political espionage, violating private life and recording speeches.
Çetin demanded they be sentenced to prison for a period of between 21 and 36 years. In addition, the Ankara Seventh High Criminal Court also issued an arrest warrant for the five suspects, with the first session of the case to be held on Jan. 25, court sources said. To date, hundreds of police officers have been detained and have testified in the probe.
Suspects are accused of eavesdropping on Turkey's top officials and of disclosing information of a highly sensitive nature, as well as "forming an organization to commit crime and being a member of this organization," "violating privacy," "illegally seizing personal information" and "forgery of official documents."
The Turkish government, blaming the Gülen Movement, led by U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen, for the wiretapping, also accuses the network of attempting to infiltrate the Turkish state and of plotting to overthrow the government.
The Gülen Movement is seen as a national threat by the government because the movement is accused of wiretapping thousands of people, including Turkish government officials, encrypting phones and allegedly infiltrating state institutions with the aim of overthrowing the government. The movement is led by Gülen who lives in self-imposed exile in the U.S.
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