A probe was launched into former ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Burhan Kuzu over trying to prevent the release of an Iranian drug lord’s enemy.
Kuzu is already accused of pressuring the judges to secure the release of Iranian drug lord Naji Sharifi Zindashti from jail in Turkey. The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office is seeking up to five years in jail for Kuzu on charges of pressuring the judiciary.
According to the new investigation, Kuzu, who is also President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s advisor, tried to prevent Orhan Ünğan from being released, daily Cumhuriyet reported on May 8.
Ünğan, who was acquitted and released after serving in prison over instigating the murder of Zindashti’s daughter and her driver, gave his testimony as part of the first investigation launched into Kuzu, saying that the former deputy intervened in the case into him.
He is now a complainant in the second investigation.
Kuzu previously denied accusations on pressuring the judiciary for Zindashti’s release.
Zindashti was first arrested in 2007 in Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece in possession of 75 kilograms of heroin and later convicted. He was released in August 2010.
The drug lord was held again in April 2018 on suspicion of several murders, instigating murder and membership of the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, which is officially called the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
He was released six months later, with the court saying that there is no evidence tying him to murders.
A prosecutor’s office objected to Zindashti’s release and an arrest warrant was issued, but the drug lord was gone by then.