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    Germans seek RTÜK president’s testimony

    Hürriyet Daily News
    30.04.2009 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    ANKARA - The Frankfurt Prosecutor’s Office has urged Turkish officials to hear the testimony of 16 Turkish citizens to shed light on the main culprits behind the Lighthouse e.V. donation fraud affair, reportedly the largest in Germany.

    The suspects include the Radio and Television Supreme Council, or RTÜK, President Zahid Akman and some administrators of Channel 7, daily Milliyet reported yesterday.

    The prosecutor’s office in Germany sent the related dossier to Ankara in January 2009, in a move to get judicial assistance from Turkey. Besides testimony, German prosecutors also requested the photos, palm and finger prints of the suspects, who are accused of "adopting fraud as a profession."


    German authorities voiced their expectation for evidence from Turkey in the petition for judicial assistance. "During the search, evidence like documents showing money transfers, counterfeit bills, account records, agreements, receipt vouchers and dispatch lists are expected to be found," the statement said.

    Prosecutors also stated that at least 14.5 million out of 41 million euros, which was collected from mainly Turkish donors living in Germany, was misappropriated. "A portion of the money was delivered to the suspects at the Channel 7, and its parent company Yeni Dünya Communication Inc," the petition read.

    The Turkish Prosecutor’s Office will take the testimony of 16 suspects and later send the dossier to Germany. The Frankfurt Prosecutor’s Office will decide whether the second Lighthouse e.V. case is necessary after examining the testimonies.

    German authorities have already sentenced three directors of Lighthouse e.V., a charity organization based in Frankfurt, namely Mehmet Gürhan, Mehmet Taşkan and Firdevsi Ermiş, to various sentences because of fraud. The Lighthouse e.V. trial began last September. The court sentenced three of the 18 suspects for misappropriating 12 million euros collected by the organization.
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