Why is the chief prosecutor being monitored?

Exempting judges and prosecutors from being asked questions is out of the question. If they abuse their powers or do not comply with their responsibilities it is very normal that action is taken against them according to standard procedures.

If necessary, their telephone conversations can be lawfully monitored as well. There is no doubt about that. But the written statement released by the Justice Ministry in the aftermath of reports on the issue reveals that there are some questions that need immediate clarification. The Justice Ministry statement noted that the phone conversations of 56 judges and prosecutors were monitored and read "after the examination by the Supervisory Board, it was suggested that there was no need to launch an investigation against 46 of the judges and prosecutors including İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor." The statement shows that İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Aykut Cengiz Engin's telephone conversations were also monitored. The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor is not an ordinary prosecutor. He is the supervisor of prosecutors leading the most critical investigation of Turkey's recent past. Why did Justice Ministry inspectors feel the need to monitor the telephone conversation of Ergenekon prosecutors' supervisor? Based on what suspicion or reason did the court approve the inspectors' permission for wiretapping?

The statement reveals that it was determined that there was no need to launch an investigation against İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor after the wiretaps. Okay but why were the prosecutor's telephone conversations intercepted for four and a half months?

It wouldn't surprise anyone if Ergenekon had connections to the highest levels of the judiciary however the Justice Ministry's statements has created serious questions on whether these connections have extended to include the prosecutors that are directly leading the investigation? There are two basic questions that have formed about Engin. Is he under suspicion in connection with the Ergenekon investigation? Is there suspicion that the Ergenekon organization has reached the highest officials leading the investigation?

The Susurluk Commission set up in parliament ten years ago was also in charge of investigating "gangs within the state." It later emerged that some of the inspectors assigned to the commission were connected to the deep organizations that the commission was investigating.

The Ergenekon case is the most important case in Turkey's recent political history. We are facing a situation in which prosecutors leading the Ergenekon investigation are also under suspicion. The suspicion and reason for wiretapping Engin, the chief proseuctor of prosecutors must be explained.

The government must clarify the issue in a way that will satisfy the people. Moreover, aside from Judges and Prosecutors Association (YARSAV) President Ömer Faruk Eminağaoğlu and Sincan 1st High Criminal Court Chief Justice Osman Kaçmaz the names of the other eight prosecutors and judges for whom it was decided that an investigation should be launched after monitoring their phone calls has not been revealed yet. Do these judges and prosecutors have anything to do with the Ergenekon investigation? The answer to the question must be urgently offered to the public.

We need to know if we should trust Engin or not. Not just the public but the prosecutors heading the Ergenekon investigation are going to ask the same question following the ministry's statement. In fact, they are gong to be doing the actual questioning. After all these prosecutors now know that suspicions have emerged about their supervisors and that their telephone conversations were monitored upon ministry approval and court order.

If you were an Ergenekon prosecutor, what would you think? If answers to these questions are delayed the soundness of the investigation could be jeopardized.

14 November 2009, Saturday