Fenerbahçe Chairman Aziz Yıldırım and three other jailed suspects were released on Monday after the presiding judge of the Specially Authorized İstanbul 16th High Criminal Court, Mehmet Ekinci, delivered the final verdict in the case that has caused uncertainty in Turkish football for the past year. Ermertçan originally requested the court sentence the chairman to 13 years, 10 months and 15 days, but the court instead sentenced Yıldırım to six years, three months.
In a related development, Yıldırım also objected to the court’s ruling on Wednesday via his lawyers. Yıldırım’s lawyer, Faik Işık, following the announcement of the court’s decision on Monday, lashed out at court members, saying his client did not deserve the penalty he had received.
The court stated that Yıldırım had been given this sentenced for creating and managing a criminal organization and for rigging several football matches. The decision has been forwarded to the Supreme Court of Appeals for review.
If the high court upholds the verdict, Yıldırım will be sent back to prison. In addition, the court fined Yıldırım TL 1.312 million for rigging several matches.
Two other Fenerbahçe officials were punished for match-fixing and membership in a criminal organization. Deputy Chairman İlhan Ekşioğlu was sentenced to one year, two months and 15 days, and another Fenerbahçe official, Şekip Mosturoğlu, received one year, 10 months.
Trabzonspor Chairman Sadri Şener, who was accused of providing incentive bonuses for the Fenerbahçe-Sivasspor match in the 2010-2011 season, was acquitted by the court. Former Beşiktaş manager Tayfur Havutçu, who was accused of match-rigging during the Turkey Cup final between Beşiktaş and İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor (İBB), was also acquitted. Former İBB player İbrahim Akın was also sentenced to one year, six months for rigging two matches and for accepting an incentive bonus in another match.
Former Sivasspor manager Bülent Uygun was convicted of rigging two games and involvement in granting an incentive bonus. He was sentenced to 11 months, seven days and fined TL 125,000. Sivasspor Chairman Mecnun Odyakmaz received one year, six months for rigging a Fenerbahçe-Sivasspor game and former Sivasspor players Mehmet Yıldız and Korcan Çelikay were sentenced to one year, three months each.