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Erdogan’s son accused of money laundering in Italy

20 February 2016

A lawyer representing Bilal Erdogan, the son of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has denied accusations that his client is involved in any money laundering, following an Italian media reported that an investigation had been launched against him.

Giovanni Trombini, a Bologna-based lawyer, described the allegations against his client as “baseless.”

“The accusations against my client are baseless. They are based on information taken from an anonymous Twitter account that writes against the Turkish government,” said Trombini, adding that all financial actions of his client are “transparent.”

His statements came as Italian media reported that Bilal Erdogan is under investigation in Italy for money laundering in connection to a 2013 corruption scandal that rocked the Turkish political establishment.

At that time, people who tipped off the Turkish police, claimed that Bilal Erdogan, son of the then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was next in line for questioning.

Audio recordings published by YouTube in which President Erdogan was heard allegedly telling his son to get rid of tens of millions of dollars as a matter of urgency, sparked a massive political upheaval and backlash. Mr Erdogan has claimed the recordings were fakes but some experts have contradicted this. Both the Erdogans have denied any wrongdoing regarding the 2013 scandal.

The Bologna Public Prosecutor has opened a file on Bilal Erdogan, 35, alleging that the president’s son brought large amounts of money into Italy last September to be laundered. The claim was made by Turkish businessman Murat Hakan Uzan, whose brother Cem Uzan founded Turkey’s Youth Party.

Erdogan said that the only reason he is in Italy with his wife and children is to resume his PhD studies in the Bologna campus of the John Hopkins University (Washington), which he began in 2007.

In the complaint filed this week with the Bologna prosecutor by Uzan’s lawyer, Massimiliano Annetta, it is claimed that 1 billion is still unaccounted for as a result of corruption, reports say.

Hurriyet, Independent

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