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    Dossier on Lighthouse e. V. case submitted by Germans

    Hürriyet Daily News
    27.04.2009 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    ANKARA - The Justice Ministry received a dossier from German authorities concerning the Lighthouse e.V. case last Friday, the justice minister said yesterday.

    Speaking to reporters at Justice and Development Party, or AKP, headquarters, Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Şahin said a dossier was received via Turkey’s German embassy, adding that the documents were being assessed and translated. "The department in charge of the dossier will probably inform us on what they want sometime this week," he said.

    Daily Vatan reported Friday that a German request for testimonies and account details of 15 individuals, including the head of Turkey’s television watchdog, from Turkish authorities as part of the Lighthouse e.V. case had remained unanswered for the past two months.

    The Justice Ministry denies receiving any such request.

    Donations
    The case involves the illegal channeling of donations collected from Turks living in Germany by the Lighthouse e.V. charity to certain businesses in Turkey. It is seen as the biggest corruption case involving a charity organization in German history. German authorities have already sentenced three Lighthouse e.V. executives to various sentences for their culpability, but the German court that sentenced them said the "real culprits" were in Turkey. The Lighthouse trial began Sept. 1 and concluded 17 days later. The court sentenced three of the 18 suspects for misappropriating 12 million euros of the 41 million euros collected by the organization.

    Supreme Board of Radio and Television, or RTÜK, Chairman Zahid Akman and Kanal 7 Executive Board Chairman Zekeriye Karaman, both of whom have close links to the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, were listed by the German authorities as some of the individuals involved in the fraud.

    When asked if German authorities had asked for the details of Akman’s accounts, Şahin said: "The arrival of the dossier was communicated to me verbally. The relevant department is assessing and translating the documents. The Justice Ministry’s authority on requests of international cooperation on such cases is limited to transferring the documents to relevant judicial authorities," he said. "We don’t judge, we just process the applications."
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