A Turkish court has ordered the arrest of a senior official of Turkey’s top scientific body and two police officers on charges of “political spying” in a case over the bugging of the Turkish prime minister's office in 2014.
The Ankara 11th Criminal Court of Peace gave the arrest order for the officials, who faced various charges of destroying, concealing or altering of criminal evidences and forgery of official documents in a case on the alleged bugging of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office when he was the prime minister.
Among the three officials is Hasan Palaz, a former vice chairman of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, or TUBITAK. Palaz had already been in detention and was taken into custody on March 30 in the Gebze district of northwestern Kocaeli province. Later, he was transferred to the Ankara prosecutor's office for questioning.
Palaz's detention had come a day after two wanted policemen, Sedat Zavar and Ilker Usta, were detained and sent to Metris prison in Istanbul.
The two police officers had allegedly fled to Romania to avoid being questioned as part of the ongoing operation in Turkey against the "parallel state" -- an alleged network of bureaucrats and senior officials embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and police, which the Turkish government claims is trying to undermine it. The pair was extradited from Romania at the request of Turkey on March 20.
Charges of "political spying" were brought against 13 suspects, including Palaz, at Ankara's Seventh High Criminal Court as part of the ongoing investigation.
Dozens of police officers have been detained and hundreds of others reassigned across Turkey in the ongoing operation against the "parallel state."