Indictment finds no organized crime in Deniz Feneri fraud case

April 10, 2012, Tuesday/ 14:02:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

An indictment prepared by prosecutors in a corruption case involving German-based Turkish charity Deniz Feneri has said there is no need for legal action regarding claims that the suspects were involved in organized crime.

The probe into Deniz Feneri's fraudulent connections to Turkey began in 2008. The three prosecutors overseeing the probe recently completed a 526-page indictment on 20 suspects involved in the case, including former head of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) Zahit Akman and Kanal 7 CEO Zekeriya Karaman.

The Deniz Feneri administration is accused of funneling money collected for charity from pious workers in Germany into various companies and businesses in Turkey. In September 2008, a German court convicted three Turkish men of funneling $26 million in charitable contributions raised by Deniz Feneri into companies run by conservative individuals in Turkey.

In the indictment, prosecutors Hakan Pektaş and Veli Dalgalı demand from 3 years 9 months to 14 years 6 months in jail for the suspects on charges of falsification of official documents and abuse of authority by a public official, while the suspects are cleared of charges of establishing a criminal organization and being a member of it.

The indictment says there is no need for judicial action against the other 25 suspects in the case.

Ankara Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Harun Kodalak, who is responsible for coordinating the investigation, approved the indictment on Tuesday morning.

The indictment was then sent to the Ankara 3rd High Criminal Court through the National Judiciary Network Project (UYAP), an electronic system that allows judicial processes to be handled online.

The trial of the suspects in the Deniz Feneri case will be held at the Ankara 3rd High Criminal Court if the court decides to accept the indictment. The court has 15 days to accept the indictment.

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