Duvar English

A total of 131 suspects were handed prison terms on Jan. 22 in the case into the illegal wiretapping by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.

Some 211 suspects are being tried in the case that’s widely known as “VIP wiretapping” due to those wiretapped being politicians, artists, journalists, business people and many more.

The suspects are accused of wiretapping dozens of people to aid Gülenists – the group with the official name of Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) after it was designated as a terrorist organization.

The Ankara Fourth Heavy Penal Court has sentenced 131 suspects to prison terms ranging from three years and nine months to 45 years.

A total of 126 suspects were handed sentences between three years and nine months and 10 years and six months over “membership of an armed terrorist organization.” Some 105 out of the said 126 suspects were also sentenced to prison over “forgery of official documents,” while 92 were handed jail terms over “illegal wiretapping.”

Those sentenced include police chiefs that carried out Dec. 17-25, 2013 graft probes, which targeted former ministers and are deemed as attempts to overthrow the government by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Former police intelligence chief Ramazan Akyürek was sentenced to 18 years in prison for “managing an armed terrorist organization,” 7 years 10 months and 15 days for “illegal wiretapping,” 12 years 13 months and 15 days for “forgery of official documents” and six years for “destroying documents illegally.”

Former intelligence department deputy head Gürsel Aktepe was sentenced to 27 years 4 months and 15 days in jail, former Ankara deputy police chief Lokman Kırcılı to 22 years and six months and former Ankara deputy police chief in charge of intelligence Hami Güney to 28 years and six months over the same charges.

Former police chief Yurt Atayün and former Istanbul police intelligence chief Ali Fuat Yılmazer, who were previously sentenced by the Istanbul 14th Heavy Penal Court to 25 years and 16.5 years in jail respectively, were sentenced to 7.5 years in prison each over “forgery of official documents.”

Hasan Ali Okan, İlyas Tekin, Özgür Öztürk, Seyit Gölcük, Fatih Doğan and Ertan Aslan, who are among the suspects charged with “being members of an armed terrorist organization,” were sentenced to 16 years in prison each over “political and military espionage.”

The court also ruled for the acquittal of 37 suspects, while also separating the files of 43 suspects, which include fugitives.