“86 million people know where these schemes are planned”
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu denounced on Thursday a new case against him on charges of bid rigging from eight years ago during his tenure in the district of Beylikduzu of Istanbul and said “86 million people knew where these schemes were planned.”
Imamoglu has already been sentenced to over two years of jail for "openly insulting public officials working as a committee" and a possible ban from politics if finalized by the supreme court.
"A file that has been waiting at the prosecutor's office for two years suddenly turned into a lawsuit. 86 million now know very well where these schemes are planned," he said on Twitter.
The first hearing of the new case where the prosecutor demanded three to seven years of jail sentence for Imamoglu and seven others will be held on June 15, Turkey’s Haberturk TV reported, saying that the investigation started with a review by the Ministry of Interior regarding Imamoglu's term as the Mayor of Beylikduzu.
The review said that in 2015, an objection by an unsuccessful tenderer to a tender was refused by the authorities in the municipality of Beylikduzu who said the winner proved sufficient to perform the job, but an investigation by a legal expert found otherwise.
Imamoglu rejected the accusation saying that he did not play any part during any stages of the tender in question.
“I do not even have my signature in this tender. And the Council of State made no assessment against me. Despite this, an attempt is made to force a crime on me,”
Court cases against Imamoglu puts the mayor's immediate political future in question but also raises his profile among the potential candidates of the opposition bloc to run against President Tayyip Erdogan in the upcoming elections.