The indictment of 21 individuals has been approved by the Istanbul Public Prosecutors’ Office; the first since a high-level corruption investigation was instigated on 17th December, 2013.
The Criminal High Court will have 15 days to either approve or reject the indictment.
Prosecutor Ekrem Aydiner, who is heading the corruption and bribery investigation indicted 21 people, including Fatih Mayor Mustafa Demir and charges the suspects, among other things, with “taking and giving bribes, destroying or hiding official documents, and violating Law No. 2863.” (Law No. 2863 regulates the Preservation of Cultural and Natural Assets.)
No further details of the charges have been released.
Following the news of the corruption probe last December, four ministers in the Justice and Development Party (AKP) resigned although they denied any wrong-doing. It has been reported that an investigation on the sons of three of the former ministers – Interior Minister Muammer Guler, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan, Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdogan Bayraktar is still ongoing.
On Thursday, a Twitter account using the pseudonym @HARAMZADELER333 posted links to a 299-page document and a 32-page document purporting to be police files from an investigation detailing graft allegations against the four former ministers.
After the local elections on 30th March are concluded, a separate indictment will be prepared against them by prosecutor Aydiner. All documents have been secured under lock and key as currently, Parliament is in recession pending the elections.
With the recent release of five suspects, including the sons of three former ministers, there are no more suspects under arrest in the investigation. Twenty-four people were arrested in the initial stages of the probe.