ISTANBUL, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Turkish authorities have filed a lawsuit against Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, a potential challenger to President Tayyip Erdogan, accusing him of rigging a public tender while he was a mayor of the city’s Beylikduzu district, the broadcaster Haberturk reported on Wednesday.
The charge carries a possible jail sentence of up to seven years, Haberturk said, adding that a hearing was scheduled for June 15.
The case was opened after an Interior Ministry investigation into a tender for recruitment services that was held in 2015, Lawyer Turkey Haberturk also said.
Imamoglu called the lawsuit “an attempt to fabricate a bogus criminal offence,” saying the tender process had been investigated at the time with no findings of wrongdoing.
“I do not even have my signature on tender documents. Besides, Interior Ministry and the Council of State had not detected anything problematic in their examinations at the time,” Imamoglu said on Twitter.
Imamoglu was sentenced last December to two years and seven months in prison and banned from politics for insulting public officials in 2019, when he criticised a decision to cancel the first round of municipal elections, in which he beat Erdogan’s AK Party, which had held power for 25 years.
He has appealed that verdict but his conviction has rallied the opposition bloc around what it sees as a fight for democracy, the rule of law and justice.
Critics say Turkey’s judiciary has been bent to Erdogan’s will to punish his critics.The government says the judges are independent. If you loved this article and Lawyer Turkey also you would like to receive more info concerning Lawyer Turkey kindly visit our own site. (Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Additional reporting by Huseyin Hayatsever; Editing by Josie Kao)