The lawyer of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen has strongly denied claims made by a senior government official who said on Monday that a Supreme Court of Appeals judge had asked Gulen's opinion about a suspect whose case the court was hearing before delivering the final verdict, Today's Zaman reported.
Nurullah Albayrak, Gulen's attorney, said in a written statement that no conversation has taken place between his client and the judge, and rejected the allegations that the judge had sought the scholar's opinion before delivering the final verdict concerning a businessman, who was convicted in the case.
Former Justice Minister and Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Mehmet Ali Shahin claimed that a high-level judge at the Supreme Court of Appeals had acted contrary to legal procedure and contacted Gulen before issuing his final verdict in the case against the businessman several years ago.
"What should I do in this case?" asked the judge, according to the claims of the former justice minister. He went on to say that Gulen had allegedly told the judge to do what justice requires.
Shahin's claim came at a time when the AK Party government has accused prosecutors, who have launched a far-reaching investigation into corruption and alleged bribery, fraud and tender rigging that involves high-level officials and ministers, of acting according to the group interests of "an illegal structure and a gang within the state."
Albayrak rejected the allegations and denied any contact between Gulen and the judge.