Turkish PM's son says ready for interrogation in graft probe

Turkish PM's son says ready for interrogation in graft probe

PanARMENIAN.Net - As a recent far-reaching corruption investigation inched closer to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's family amid allegations into his son's entanglements in tender rigging and bribery, Erdoğan's son has said he is ready to be summoned by prosecutors for interrogation, if needed, Today's Zaman reports.

Bilal Erdoğan, a businessman who leads Prime Minister Erdoğan' family foundation -- the Foundation of Youth and Education in Turkey (TÜRGEV) -- said he hasn't been summoned by any Istanbul prosecutor so far.

He assured that he any time could go to office of Istanbul’s Chief Public Prosecutor, if there is an official call for interrogation. In remarks to the state-run Anadolu news agency on Thursday, Jan 23, Erdoğan's lawyer said the accusations are groundless and politically motivated.

Lawyer Ahmet Özel said there is no ongoing investigation against Bilal Erdoğan, which he says disproves the enduring allegations against his client.

His remarks came after corruption claims brought Bilal Erdoğan into spotlight for his murky business deals with well-known businessmen, such as construction tycoon Ali Ağaoğlu, who is among chief suspects of the graft probe, Today's Zaman says.

Bilal Erdoğan's name was also included among those for whom prosecutors had sought arrest warrants in the second phase of the corruption case in late December.

Prosecutor Muammer Akkaş, who was leading the investigation that is seen as the second phase of a graft probe that has led to the resignations of three ministers whose sons were detained due to their alleged involvement in corruption, had ordered the detention of 30 suspects, including a number of deputies and businessmen.

The Istanbul Police Department, which has seen an extensive purge of its top officers, did not comply with the detention order on Dec 25.

With removal of Akkaş from the case, Erdoğan's son evaded possible questioning by prosecutors for allegations of embezzlement, tender rigging and abusing his father's power to broker lucrative business deals.

More than 20 Istanbul prosecutors, including critical figures who led historic coup trials in which hundreds of generals were convicted of plotting the government, were reassigned by the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) to new posts.

With appointment of new prosecutors to proceed the corruption investigation, arrest warrants for 30 suspects, including Bilal Erdoğan, were lifted.

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