18 April 2014, Friday
Today's Zaman

Baykal's lawyer says recording proves conspiracy

25 March 2011, Friday /TODAY’S ZAMAN
A lawyer representing former Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, who has been accused of sexual harassment by controversial odatv.com reporter İklim Bayraktar, has announced that the accuser had confessed in a wiretapped phone conversation that she was trying to set Baykal up.

Baykal has been summoned by a prosecutor to testify as a victim in the investigation into odatv.com, a news portal that prosecutors claim was the media organization of Ergenekon, a clandestine gang charged with plotting to overthrow the government. Baykal has not gone to see the prosecutor. Odatv reporter Bayraktar said Baykal harassed her, making inappropriate advances during a visit to the CHP headquarters.

Baykal's lawyer said in his statement that Bayraktar's allegations were groundless, as proven by a conversation she had with a third party over a phone line that she was not aware had been wiretapped. The statement also said some sources giving the press one-sided information only highlighting Bayraktar's claims was part of the conspiracy against his client.

The CHP has been going through a troubled period since Baykal was overthrown as a result of a video clip featuring him having an affair with a party deputy.

Baykal says the sex tape was the result of a conspiracy, a claim that came under the spotlight again after police seized a document from the computer of journalist Soner Yalçın, the owner of the odatv.com news portal. Yalçın was arrested last month on charges of membership in a terrorist organization and acquiring and publishing confidential state documents. The seized document suggested the journalist was planning to put into action a new “plan” against Baykal if he opposed the sale of Halk TV. Halk TV is known for its close ties to the CHP and is being administrated by a team close to Baykal.

The plan involved publishing a new video clip featuring Baykal. A clip allegedly showing the ex-CHP leader having an affair with a party deputy was posted online in May of last year. Baykal then resigned from his post as a result of mounting criticism. Investigators suspect Bayraktar’s accusation might be part of the alleged Odatv plot against Baykal. Bayraktar publicly said she was sexually harassed by the former CHP leader during an interview in January and that she later sought the support of CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for a plot against Baykal. However, Kılıçdaroğlu reportedly declined to help her but told her that she could do it on her own.

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