Kahramanmaraş Chief Public Prosecutor's Office filed an indictment against four people in connection with the helicopter crash that killed prominent politician Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu.
The Yazıcıoğlu family's lawyer, Selami Ekici, said he expects the trial to start soon once the indictment is approved. The indictment requests imprisonment for the four individuals who include Ali Lapanta, Adana gendarmerie regional commander and retired lieutenant general; military officer Mazlum Koçoğlu; Orhan Birdal, former general directorate of the State Airports Authority; and Ali Arıduru, former director general of Turkish Civil Aviation.
Yazıcıoğlu’s family has long insisted that the politician’s helicopter was sabotaged or shot down. Several public officials linked to the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ) face trials over abuse of duty for charges stemming from closing the crash case and for hindering rescue efforts after the incident.
The leader of the Great Union Party (BBP), Yazıcıoğlu was on the campaign trail when a helicopter carrying him, his entourage and a journalist crashed into a mountain in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş in 2009.
The politician was a staunch critic of FETÖ, a group that for decades tried to infiltrate political parties. Head of the FETÖ, Fetullah Gülen was quoted as saying that Yazıcıoğlu was "removed with a divine blow" in a speech five days after the politician's death. Earlier, a prosecution request against public officials over negligence in rescue operations for Yazıcıoğlu was rejected by the court, but the case was reopened after FETÖ's 2016 failed coup attempt that was followed by the dismissal of a large number of prosecutors and judges, including those that handled the case.
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