ISTANBUL – Turkish prosecutors have charged eight police officers with illegally eaesdropping on top officials including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, state media said on Saturday.
The eight were charged with illegal wiretapping, as well as forging official documents, and were remanded in custody late on Friday pending a possible trial, the state television channel TRT said. Over one hundred serving and former police officers were arrested last week in dramatic raids as part of the wiretapping probe.
Twenty-six officers have so far been released to the delight of their supporters, who insist the investigation was politically motivated, coming just ahead of the August 10 presidential election in which Erdogan is standing.
The officers are accused of making up an investigation named Selam-Tevhid as cover to wiretap prominent figures since 2010, including Erdogan, journalists, cabinet members and the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MIT), Hakan Fidan.