Fenerbahçe becomes co-plaintiff in match-fixing trial

June 01, 2012, Friday/ 12:07:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A court hearing a major match-fixing case has accepted Fenerbahçe's request to become a co-plaintiff in the ongoing trial on allegations of match fixing by Turkish teams.

During Friday's hearing of the match-fixing case in the İstanbul 16th High Criminal Court, Judge Mehmet Ekinci accepted Fenerbahçe lawyers' request for the club to be granted co-plaintiff status in the case.

Meanwhile, the lawyer of Fenerbahçe Deputy Chairman İlhan Ekşioğlu, an arrested suspect in the case, said at the court during Friday's hearing that the tapes of phone conversations which are “illegally obtained” cannot be taken as evidence to sentence his client.

In his statements at the hearing, Ekşioğlu argued that no evidence has been presented even though the case saw its 19th hearing but that only tapes have been taken into account as evidence. He said he was victimized by being held in prison for 11 months.

The match-fixing investigation concerns claims that several club officials and football players rigged games in the Bank Asya League 1 and the Spor Toto Super League, which ended in May of last year with Fenerbahçe winning the trophy. In July 2011 police raided homes and football club premises, detaining 60 people suspected of fixing matches in those two Turkish leagues last season.

Many high-ranking football officials from various Turkish clubs, including Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş, have been arrested on charges of fraud and match fixing. Thirty-one individuals, including agents, former football players and club managers, were arrested in two waves of the probe, with Fenerbahçe Chairman Aziz Yıldırım being the highest-profile figure taken into custody. Most of these suspects have been released, including Beşiktaş coach Tayfur Havutçu.

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