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Former Turkish police intel chief faces 860 years in prison

A former police intelligence chief is required to serve up to 860 years in prison in a wiretapping case, in which he has been found guilty of wiretapping 48 people, including several government officials, journalists, judiciary personnel and businessmen, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

Ramazan Akyürek, the former chief, was indicted on the charge of “heading a terrorist organization” and sentenced to more than eight centuries in prison over the case filed by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on June 9.

Akyürek had previously been indicted on the charge of “causing death with negligence on duty” in the Hrant Dink’s murder case and was sent to prison on Feb.27.

Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist, was shot dead on Jan.19, 2007, while Akyürek was the Trabzon Police department head.

Akyürek was among 50 police officers from various ranks whose names appeared in a 130-page indictment with charges of “forming and running a criminal organization,” “fabricating false documents,” “illegally keeping private information,” and “violating private life and communication privacy” in the wiretapping investigation, led by prosecutor Alpaslan Karabay.

All the 50 were accused of forming a terrorist organization serving the goals of the alleged “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization.”

The indictment also contained a report made by the Turkish Interior Ministry that stated the executive assistant of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahçeli and his advisors had been wiretapped.

“Wiretapping people from a political leader’s inner circle begets wiretapping that political leader. The wiretapping done right before the parliamentary elections on June 12, 2011, could have had a bearing on the fate of a political party and the country’s domestic politics,” it stated.

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