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Turkey prosecutors request acquittal of Fenerbahce supremo

05 October 2015, 15:07

Istanbul - Turkish prosecutors on Monday requested the acquittal of Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim and five other suspects in a retrial over a match-fixing scandal that shook Turkish football.

Yildirim had been sentenced to six years and three months in prison in 2012 over the scandal and served around a year of that sentence before being freed pending appeal.

A retrial was then ordered in June 2014 and prosecutors requested Monday that all the suspects including Yildirim should be acquitted and their original convictions quashed, the official Anatolia news agency reported.

As well as match fixing, Yildirim had also been convicted of founding a criminal organisation.

Also read: Fenerbahce player's car attacked in Istanbul

The judge is due to announce the final verdict on Friday with an acquittal ruling now almost certain.

Yildirim, who became Fenerbahce chairman in 1998, is one of the most prominent and powerful figures in Turkish football.

His original conviction for match-fixing in the 2011-2012 season sent shockwaves through Turkish football and resulted in the club being banned for two seasons from European competition.

Undeterred by the legal problems, Yildirm has over the last months sought to spearhead a drive to turn the club into a major footballing power signing stars including Robin Van Persie and Nani from Manchester United.

His supporters ridiculed the original investigation against him, linking it to prosecutors who in 2013 brought sensational corruption allegations against the inner circle of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan has angrily denied those claims, blaming the now dropped graft investigation on a "parallel state" led by his arch enemy, the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.

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