[QODLink]
Europe

Turkish court frees key corruption suspects

Court releases five people - including two ministers' sons - embroiled in graft probe that has rocked government.

Last updated: 28 Feb 2014 15:26
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Baris Guler (in sunglasses) was among those released after the necessary evidence had been collected [Reuters]

A Turkish court has released five people, including the sons of two ministers, who were detained on corruption allegations in mid-December in a high-profile probe that has rocked the government, according to local media.

The private NTV channel reported on Friday that Baris Guler, the son of the former interior minister, as well as Kaan Caglayan, the son of the ex-economy minister, and Azerbaijani businessman Reza Zarrab, were among those freed.

NTV said the suspects were released because the "necessary evidence had been collected".

Guler and Caglayan had been charged with acting as intermediaries for giving and taking bribes, while Zarrab was suspected of forming a ring that bribed officials to disguise illegal gold sales to sanctions-hit Iran via state-owned Halkbank.

The men walked free two weeks after Suleyman Arslan, the former chief executive of Halkbank, who was also caught up in the police raids, was released.

Arslan was accused of corruption, fraud and money laundering in connection with illegal gold sales to Iran.

The graft scandal has struck at the heart of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, posing the biggest challenge yet to his 11 years in power.

The crisis has prompted a cabinet reshuffle and the two ministers whose sons were implicated in the scandal have resigned.

Erdogan has accused supporters of exiled Muslim leader Fethullah Gulen, who wields considerable influence in the judiciary and police, of launching the probe as part of a plot against his government ahead of local polls in March.

Erdogan has retaliated by sacking or reassigning hundreds of police and prosecutors believed to have links to Gulen.

265

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.