18 April 2014, Friday
Today's Zaman

Justice Minister stopped police from carrying out prosecutor’s order

Bekir Bozdağ, the new justice minister, prevented the police from following prosecutor Muammer Akkaş's order to detain 30 suspects, and the minister also leaked the names of suspects listed on investigation files, circles close the police have claimed.

On Dec. 17, after a surveillance period of one-and-a-half years, Akkaş sent the names of people to be detained on a court verdict to the İstanbul Police Department in sealed envelopes. According to the claims, Bozdağ, who was a deputy prime minister at the time, came to the police department in the evening, gathered the police chiefs and collected the envelopes from them. He also ordered members of the police force no to detain the listed people.

The same sources also say that İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Turan Çolakkadı blocked the gendarmerie when Akkaş, who failed to mobilize the police, sent the same list to them. Çolakkadı called the gendarmerie command to say that he "doesn't approve the operation.”

But some gendarmerie officials, speaking to Today's Zaman on condition of anonymity, rejected reports that the prosecutor sent them an order to make detainments. They said they had not received any such order from Akkaş.

When asked about a document that some media outlets published on Friday that showed an order from Akkaş to the gendarmerie asking them to start an operation, the gendarmerie sources said it was probably taken from the investigation file. “If an order had arrived for us, we would have definitely done what was necessary and made the detentions,” they said.

According to the claims by those close to the police, after Bozdağ' interfered with the detainments, those people on the detainment list were informed that the prosecutor was after them and that they should start taking measures accordingly. After learning this, those on the list immediately started destroying possible evidence, the sources claimed. Upon the police's reluctance to start detentions, Akkaş opened another investigation and alleged that the newly appointed İstanbul Police Chief Selami Altınok and the new chief of the Financial Crimes Office are “not complying with orders, are violating the confidentiality of the investigation and aiding suspects.”

Bozdağ is also claimed to have visited a police department in İstanbul on Dec. 21 to tell Altınok to expel all press members from police headquarters.

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