Supreme Board members who helped FETÖ-suspect prosecutor on the case against Cumhuriyet keep his job detained for FETÖ connections
Two Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors’ members who voted to stop Prosecutor Murat İnam, who is on the case against Cumhuriyet, from being suspended from his post and so helping him to stay in his job by majority vote are currently in jail for membership of the Fethullah Gülen Terror Organisation (FETÖ) and have been expelled from the profession.
According to a report by Barış Pehlivan of Oda TV, Istanbul Republic Prosecutor Murat İnam, who is conducting the investigation into our paper, stands charged of ten separate offences including membership of FETÖ.
In proceedings being heard before Penal Chamber No 16 of the Court of Cassation, the prosecution is calling for Prosecutor İnam to be sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment on one count and life imprisonment on another in addition to imprisonment for up to 67 years and three months. Prosecutor İnam has been barred from leaving the country, but the decision was taken to release him pending trail.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has also criticised the conducting of a FETÖ operation by a FETÖ-suspect prosecutor, saying, “If only such an appointment had not been made. That would have been better and more correct.”
Justice Minister Bozdağ continued as follows while addressing the general assembly of parliament:
“Had it formed the opinion that there was a connection with, membership of or adjunctiveness to FETÖ in his case (Prosecutor Murat İnam), the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors, which has resolved that it is inappropriate for 3,456 judges and prosecutors to remain in their posts based on such an opinion, would have had no hesitation in this matter. This is my belief.”
Justice Minister Bozdağ said:
- If the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors thought that Prosecutor Murat İnam had links to FETÖ, it would have expelled him.
-The proof of this is the expulsion of 3,445 judges and prosecutors at the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors’ unanimous decision.
Let us underline Bekir Bozdağ’s words “unanimous” and “3,456” in his reasoning over the “lack of hesitation” in relation to the non-expulsion of FETÖ-suspect Prosecutor Murat İnam.
INSPECTORS’ REPORT: ALL SHOULD BE EXPELLED FROM THE PROFESSION
The indictment in the proceedings into the judicial component of accusations that FETÖ staged a conspiracy around the Selam Tevhid investigation, in which Prosecutor Murat İnam stands accused, is based on an investigation report of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors.
The report compiled by Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors’ Chief Inspector Mustafa Zengin and Inspectors Hüseyin Turgut İmamgiller and Tarık Demir bears the date of 7 December 2015. The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors’ inspectors’ 1121-page report ends as follows concerning the prosecutors and judges appointed to the Salam Tevhid investigation:
“The conclusion and opinion was formed that they engaged in acts of a nature that is detrimental to the dignity and honour of the profession and the influence and standing of the civil service through acting as part of an organisation that was operated in a planned and systematic manner within the FETÖ / Parallel State Formation.”
And, the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors’ inspectors’ report, having listed these 54 prosecutors and judges by name including Prosecutor Murat İnam, ends with the call “The conclusion and opinion has been reached that the penalty of expulsion from the profession must be applied and prosecution must be brought.”
THOSE WHO KEPT PROSECUTOR İNAM IN THE PROFESSION ARE IN JAIL FOR FETÖ CONNECTIONS
Three days after this report appeared, the Second Chamber of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors convened with Chair Mehmet Yılmaz and its six members.
On the agenda was whether to permit proceedings to be brought into the 54 prosecutors and judges. The removal of the said prosecutors and judges from their posts was a to be put to a revote.
According to the 756-page resolution bearing the date of 10 December 2015:
1) Permission was granted for proceedings to be initiated against the 54 prosecutors and judges.
2) The periods of suspension from their posts of 49 of those against whom proceedings were brought were extended by majority vote.
3) The application for the remaining five prosecutors and judges, including Prosecutor Murat İnam, to be suspended from their posts was rejected by majority vote.
The Second Chamber of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors consists of seven people including the Chamber Chair. The votes cast by these very seven people are of interest, because Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors’ members Mustafa Kemal Özçelik and Mahmut Şen wished for all the prosecutors and judges to remain in their posts and opposed them being suspended.
This meant that the suspension decisions by the Second Chamber of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors were taken by a majority vote of five against two. When the turn came of the five prosecutors and judges among whom Prosecutor Murat İnam numbered, the votes of Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors’ members Ramazan Kaya and Muharrem Özkaya, who had favoured the suspension of 49 prosecutors and judges – for some reason – shifted in favour of the five prosecutors and judges remaining in their posts.
So, the balance was tipped. The dissenting votes came from Second Chamber of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors’ Chair Mehmet Yılmaz and members Taci Bayhan and Hayriye Şirin Ünsel (as was the case at the 14 July 2015 session). The three entered a dissenting opinion that the five prosecutors and judges including Prosecutor Murat İnam “be suspended from their posts” along with the others.
In Prosecutor Murat İnam’s case, it was resolved that he “continue in his post as prosecutor” by four votes to three, that is by a majority of one vote. Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors’ members Mustafa Kemal Özçelik and Mahmut Şen wished for all of the prosecutors and judges to remain in their posts and opposed their being suspended. In other words, Özçelik and Şen were two of the members who wished for Prosecutor İnam to remain in his post.
The million dollar question: where are Mustafa Kemal Özçelik and Mahmut Şen now?
Yes, the two Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors’ members have been detained on suspicion of FETÖ membership. And, they were expelled from the profession on 24 August 2016. If, today, Prosecutor Murat İnam is still able to practice the profession of prosecutor, it is thanks to two Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors’ members who have been detained on suspicion of FETÖ membership and have been expelled.
PROSECUTOR MURAT İNAM’S DEFENCE
Prosecutor Murat İnam rejected the accusations against him in his defence of 11 September 2015 saying the following, summarised:
- I have always performed my duties in compliance with statute and rules of law.
- For my entire professional life, I have not compromised my conscience for the benefit of any person, political party, institution, formation, organisation or congregation.
- I have had no connection or relationship with the structure known as the Parallel State Formation
- I have not stayed in any way at any of this structure’s houses or hostels; I have not attended any of its dinners, meetings or functions.
- Since the school attached to the staff accommodation where I live is inadequate in physical terms and the classes are large, I sent my child as of the second term of the first year of primary school to Fatih College in common with many leading people in government. However, following comments by the Esteemed Prime-Minister (President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) about removing children from these schools, and with the true face of this structure becoming apparent, I took my child from this school and enrolled it at another.
- I have served for my entire career as a Republic prosecutor who loves his country and people, is true to the law and has a clear conscience. I most definitely reject the accusations levelled against me.
This is how it all stacks up:
1) Prosecutor Murat İnam is being prosecuted for making an improper application to intercept calls within FETÖ’s Selam Tevhid conspiracy.
2) The prosecution is calling for very stiff penalties against him including aggravated life imprisonment on ten separate counts including FETÖ membership.
3) The votes of Second Chamber of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors’ Chair Mehmet Yılmaz and two members were insufficient to prevent him from remaining in his post. Despite being accused of FETÖ membership, he continues to serve as a prosecutor thanks to a one-vote majority at the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors.
4) Two of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors’ members who favoured him continuing in his post and not being removed from the ranks of the prosecution have been detained for FETÖ membership and have been expelled from the profession. In other words, among the expelled “3,456” prosecutors and judges to whom Justice Minister Bozdağ refers by way of example of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors’ decisiveness over FETÖ, are two FETÖ suspects whose votes kept Prosecutor Murat İnam in his post as prosecutor.
5) And the prosecutor who is the main focus of this article remains in charge of Cumhuriyet Newspaper’s FETÖ investigation, despite the Justice Minister’s justifiable criticisms.
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