New suspects deny involvement in wiretapping Erdoğan

Istanbul, May 5 () - Two suspects who were allegedly involved in wiretapping then-prime minister President Tayyip Erdoğan and were caught in Romania in February denied all claims against them at a hearing in Ankara on May 4.

Former police officers Sedat Zavar and İlker Usta said they were not involved in planting bugs in Erdoğan’s office. The political spying case covers allegations from Nov. 24, 2011, to Dec. 29, 2011.

Zavar said he might have taken part once or twice in a bug search at the prime minister’s office, as allegations focused on bugs being planted during a regular search. 

 “Nobody goes [to search for bugs] alone” he said, adding prime ministry officials and employees at the office accompanied him during the search.

As Erdoğan’s lawyer Ali Özkaya quoted Mehmet Yüksel, a former head of the Prime Ministry Security Office, who said he did not authorize anybody for such a bug search, Zavar said he took the order from Ali Özdoğan, a suspect on the run.

Zavar was later appointed as a technical bureau vice manager in the eastern province of Erzurum in 2012. 

Usta also strongly denied all allegations against him.

In the case into the wiretapping of Erdoğan’s offices, some of the leader’s top guards have been accused of planting bugs to eavesdrop on him.

Mustafa Varank, currently a principal advisor for Erdoğan at the presidential palace, testified at a hearing on Feb. 4, saying that he oversaw the removal process of bugs at Erdoğan’s office.

 

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