October 5, 2015

Legal experts denounce comical indictment meant to cover up gov’t corruption

A legal indictment prepared recently against the authorities who uncovered the Dec. 17-25, 2013, government corruption probe has been compared to a comedy script, drawing the ire of not just the public but also legal experts who suggest it is indicative of an incompetent legal system.

Istanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor İsmail Uçar had prepared the indictment against 69 people, including Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and a number of police officers who oversaw a major government graft probe in 2013, on charges of “establishing an armed terrorist organization,” “attempting to overthrow the government by force and violence” and “publicizing confidential state documents.”

However, the indictment has been mocked widely both by public and legal experts who see it as a farce. The document contains many references to the Hittites, Lydians, the Orkhon inscriptions, Julius Caesar, Cain and Abel and even Frodo from Lord of the Rings, all cited as evidence of a clandestine coup plot.

Even the indictment’s page count, 1,453, is a reference to the year that Istanbul was conquered by the Ottomans, which the document pulls straight from online sources.

“I haven’t had a chance to read the entire indictment,” explains former prosecutor Mete Göktürk. “However the tales, epics, sagas and movies mentioned in its pages completely negate the indictment’s seriousness. To bring up legends and movies in an indictment is like framing the Mona Lisa with lace. It diminishes the value of the original.”

“Law is a serious business. It shouldn’t be packed with meaningless, pointless things. Law has no room for subjective evaluations. I wouldn’t have used such imagery if it were up to me,” he added, saying that they’d have comb through the entire document to see if any concrete evidence exists in its pages; otherwise, it wasn’t worth taking seriously.

Former prosecutor İsmet Tuncer agreed, pointing out that legal arguments were based on evidence. “This indictment doesn’t contain concrete evidence, it contains movie characters. It is comical to even attempt to evaluate it legally. Those who prepared such an indictment are only worthy of shame and ridicule. It’s clearly an attempt at trying to find a way to justify a thief’s theft,” he said.

Retired Judge Sedat Karagül added that the indictment revealed the incompetence of those who prepared it: “Why did they do this? Because they can’t find any criminal act in the case. It’s impossible to understand what they’re doing.”

“But I do know this,” added Karagül. “The prosecutor who prepared this will one day be made President of the Supreme Court. The [legal] environment has become so corrupted that they’ll reward him for this. I have come to the point where I’m ashamed of having been a judge. Justice cannot be insulted this badly.”

Published on BGNNews, 5 October 2015, Monday