Date posted: January 2, 2014
Following a complaint submitted by the Judges and Prosecutors Association (YARSAV), the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into a claim made by former Justice Minister and current Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Mehmet Ali Şahin, who said on Monday that a Supreme Court of Appeals judge had asked Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen‘s opinion about a suspect whose case the court was hearing before delivering the final verdict.
A statement released by the Supreme Court of Appeals on Tuesday said that such a claim, which could harm the objectivity of the court, is not acceptable and added that if Şahin has any evidence, it should be handed over to the judiciary to start legal action on his claim.
The lawyer of the Turkish Islamic scholar, Nurullah Albayrak, said in a written statement that no conversation has taken place between his client and the judge, and rejected the allegations that the judge had sought the scholar’s opinion before delivering the final verdict concerning a businessman who was convicted in the case.
Şahin claimed that a high-level judge at the Supreme Court of Appeals had acted contrary to legal procedure and contacted Gülen before issuing his final verdict in the case against the businessman several years ago.
“What should I do in this case?” asked the judge, according to the claims of the former justice minister. He went on to say that Gülen had allegedly told the judge to do “what justice requires.”
Şahin’s claim came at a time when the AK Party government has accused prosecutors who have launched a far-reaching investigation into corruption and alleged bribery, fraud and tender rigging that involves high-level officials and ministers of acting according to the group interests of “an illegal structure and a gang within the state.”
Albayrak rejected the allegations and denied any contact between Gülen and the judge.
Source: Today's Zaman , January 2, 2014