A Turkish court on Friday handed down lengthy jail sentences to the prosecutors and military officers who worked on a 2014 investigation into trucks operated by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) that were accused of carrying arms to Syrian groups, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Former Adana Chief Public Prosecutor Süleyman Bağrıyanık received 22 years, six months in prison for obtaining secret documents, disclosing these documents to the public and membership in the Gülen movement.
Prosecutors Aziz Takçı, Ahmet Karaca and Özcan Şişman were sentenced to 26 years; 18 years, nine months; and 17 years, three months, respectively, on the same charges.
Hamza Celepoğlu, a former brigadier general and gendarmerie commander of Adana province, and former Col. Özkan Çokay also received 20-year jail sentences.
In January 2014 Adana prosecutors ordered gendarmes to conduct a search of a truck on its way to the Syrian border after receiving an anonymous tip.
Then-Adana Governor Hüseyin Avni Coş intervened the investigation and said the trucks belonged to MİT.
Later, then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claimed the trucks were not carrying weapons but humanitarian aid to Turkmens in northern Syria.
The officials who conducted the investigation were accused of membership in the Gülen movement, which was declared a “public enemy” after a corruption scandal in December 2013.
Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, former Cumhuriyet daily journalists, published photographs and official documents revealing that the trucks were actually carrying weapons.
Dündar and Gül were imprisoned for months on espionage charges.